The competition is fantastic. The background stories are inspirational. We can all learn something about perseverance, dedication, commitment to excellence, and true performance from these athletes. Another thing that I love about the Olympics is that, at least on the surface, it isn't about money. I watched the three fencers on the medal stand last night and realized that in all likelihood, they won't be on the a Wheaties box next month. Nor will they make a living in the sport of fencing. They have simply committed to excellence in their area of interest for an intense and extended period of time and they will carry the experience with them for the rest of their lives. It will permeate its way into everything that they do from now on. They will be goal-setters, hard workers, and high achievers at work and at play because they have experienced the results of these traits in a tangible way.
I wish the same for my students. It is my mission to provide them the opportunity to be achievers. It isn't easy. They need to know that great accomplishments only come through great sacrifice. And, that there is always something to be gained by striving for excellence, regardless of the potential financial gain at the end of the line. These are difficult lessons to learn, to internalize. If I am being honest, they are lessons that I need to continue to learn on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
So, it is great to have the Olympics in my living room for a period of time. I am inspired by these athletes in so many ways. I think I'll go for a bike ride.....