Truth – “Fake it until you make it” doesn’t work at the Olympics. Lack of preparation and training will be exposed. Experience can go a long way to fill in the gaps – but there is a reason that the best way to feel at the Olympics is ready. Confidence, swagger and opportunities reside in those who are ready. That is the truth.
Dare – I dare you to believe that you can be the best in the World. Done that already? I dare you to do it again. That challenge is a pressure that weighs on every Olympian’s chest. The best part is – they choose it to be that way. We learned a long time ago that there is no courage without fear.
The moment where we test ourselves against our goals can be described as a Can I? Will I? moment – it is a moment of controlled fear. In the flash of that moment we present ourselves with question – we are fully aware of all that makes us “normal” and we try to remember all that makes us ready to do something special – and we ask – Can I do this? And more importantly Will I do this? This is where an Olympian is dared to step up – or step out.
Consequences – This is why the Olympics are different: one moment every 4 years, sometimes one opportunity in a lifetime. The pursuit of Olympic success is more passion than pay; a young lifetime of committed time, health and injury management and constant dedication to the smallest detail. All of which is gambled against a cadre of others who are just as committed. At the start line – every athlete goes ‘all-in’.
This gamble and the reality of this all or nothing consequence is why we catch our breath when an athlete we’ve never heard of before, from a country we’re not from and in a sport we don’t follow falls that we catch our breath. This is why our heart races as our Canadian Team athletes chase fractions of points, seconds and scoring opportunities. We know that all the emotion at the finish line has more to do with all the speed bumps; the trials and tribulations of getting there as much as the result.
I went to 3 Olympics as an athlete. It seems increasingly impossible that I had five opportunities to test myself and surreal that I (we) won three times (twice in ’92, again in ’96), took bronze (’96) in the fourth and had to withdraw with and injury (2000) as my end.
God I love watching the Olympics now. I am so inspired watching these athletes – my peers now – rise up to the Truth, Dare and Consequences of their Olympic Can I? Will I? moments.
What could possible be interesting to watch when they are done? Bring on the PanAm’s, Bring on Rio.