The Olympics are upon us, that global phenomenon that galvanizes the world to unite us in friendship, harmony and enjoyment. The summer games are a celebration of our common humanity, reminding us there is much more that links the people of our planet together than divides us. Let us hope the Rio games can overcome the challenges of so much adversity like Zika, terrorism, rampant steroid rumors and political instability to show the world we can unite with a competitive spirit and common passion for sport.
The athletes exemplify the overarching theme of my website far better than any blog I can write as they truly embody the essence of a blend of Mind, Body and Soul. To achieve success this summer, they will need to excel collectively in each of these values. Allow me to explore each in further detail…
MIND: Can you imagine any greater endeavor that can match this pressure? The athletes are not only putting their individual talents on the line for themselves and/or teammates but are representing their entire country. Team America is wearing our flag competing for the gold with the weight of 300 million fellow citizens on each of their broad shoulders. And you thought hosting your dinner party for six was stressful?
The ability to cope with this pressure, to never allow the word “choke” to enter your vocabulary, and the belief in yourself is tantamount. Success will also demand a sense of awareness, to be in the moment, and fully know your surroundings. Once the opening ceremonies kick off, physicality is no longer the key driver for success; brainpower delivers gold.
BODY: To be a world-class athlete, you must obviously be in peak physical condition and possess certain qualities: Speed, strength and conditioning, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, etc. The dedication and discipline to achieving this goal is unparalleled. Perhaps this is why the average age of an Olympic gymnast – with the minimum age being 16 – is only 20 years old. With the summer games every four years, most athletes only get one shot at the Olympics. The physical toll and necessary sacrifices to compete at this level is unsustainable over a longer period.
SOUL: The competitive drive, the determination and the inner spirit to aspire to fulfill a dream – these are all common attributes of successful athletes. It provides the passion that fuels their accomplishments and lifts them to reach beyond their limits.
Couple this competitive spirit with representing your country on the world’s biggest stage and it transcends just winning an event. Going for the gold gives a sense of belonging, a higher purpose, a stronger sense of community. The athletes are statesmen of their country and instantly elevated to high profile, superstar status during the games. But, even more so, they are heroes in their hometowns long before – and after – the buzz of the Olympics has passed. This feeling of connection and community warms the hearts and touches the soul of these athletes as the memories will stay with them forever.
Let us all enjoy these epic games and be mindful of the beauty when Mind, Body and Soul converge in perfect harmony. On your mark…Get set…Go! Let the games begin.