This past week the world has been bombarded with the 2012 Olympics, and I love it! It is the few moments where we can turn on the TV at any time of day and see good old competition. I can't help but feel pride in our country's athletes as they strive to bring home medals. I love watching some of the sports I knew were a part of the olympic games. That Canoe Slalom was crazy, these athletes we're controlling their canoes through one of the most challenging and thrilling courses I have ever seen.
Keiran Behan, Picture by Ian Walton/Getty
One of the things I love hearing about are the athlete's tremendous stories about their journey to the Olympics. It is a reminder of the hard work and dedication individuals can put into a life long dream. Take Keiran Behan, the first gymnast Irish Gymnast that has ever qualified for the Olympics, is 23 years old and has overcome tremendous odds. He's suffered head injuries, been told by doctors he would never walk again and had to fund his journey with the help of family and friends. Although, Keiran did not end up qualifying for the finals, his face as he entered the arena was priceless. The joy of overcoming all the no's and all the odds held against you is amazing.
Picture by FIG
What about Iordan Iovtchev, the 39 year old gymnast is competing in the rings finals. This is his 6th Olympic appearance, more than any other gymnast in history. Iordan talked about his journey and how it's not as easy as it used to be. He has injuries that he's competing with in these Olympics. His journey goes beyond just himself he states, "I’m competing to support the Bulgarian gymnastics federation. If we have a gymnast at the Olympic Games, then we will have head coach, a masseuse, doctors… going to the Olympics. If we didn’t have a male going to the Olympics, it would’ve been tough for the Bulgarian gymnastics federation to survive. (So keeping a lot of people employed) is part of it," he added with a grin(National Post, London 2012). Iordan is the president of the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation.
Photo By Ryan Pierse/Getty Images Europe
Another story of perseverance I see in the story of Jen Kessy and April Ross. The ladies were one of the top 5 beach volleyball pairs in the world in 2008, yet didn't qualify for the Olympics. The ladies were 3rd in the United States and the Olympic rules only allow 2 from each country. (It sounds very similar to Jordyn Wieber's scenario right now. I hope that she continues her craft and comes back in 2016). These ladies are now competing this year and are kicking butt and taking names.
Photo by Petr David Josek/AP Photo
Jake Gibb, US beach volleyball player, has beat cancer twice and made it to the olympics for a second time this year. His story is very inspiring. His volleyball partner and him are continuing to do well in the games also.
There are so many more stories we have yet to learn about from these athletes. I encourage everyone to take from these stories what they can and positively impact their own lives. You really can accomplish anything you want. Believe in yourself and allow others to believe in you too.
Enjoy the Olympic games! Have a fun and fit day, Chicago.