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The Olympic Spirit: The Drive

Joined: 2/21/2014
Posts: 1
It takes a certain type of individual; one who is willing to put in the work, one who has the ability to keep pushing forward when they fall, and one who truly believes that everything that they have ever completed is worth the sacrifice to get to that moment. What moment, you may ask; what on earth is so exclusive, so worthwhile, that a person is willing to go through so much pain for that one moment. Many do not understand, and many are pessimistic to these individuals saying that their dreams are unachievable in the long run. But few look past these hurdles that set them back, pursuing the one dream that almost every young athlete wants in life; Olympic glory.

As a competitive swimmer, I myself truly understand this dream and goal. Ever since I was six years old I have visualized about one day representing the USA on the world stage of the Olympic Games. Is it a crazy dream? Well yeah probably, but as my former Olympian coach told me when I was eight, “The mind is a powerful thing. If you can dream it, you can achieve it, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.” Hooked like a fish, I wanted to prove to him and all others that I have what it takes to compete at that level. And when they Olympics come around every two years, it just inspires me even more to hear about other athletes who have the same drive, who have put in the time and made it to their goal, proving it possible.

Unlike professional sports such as basketball or football, most Olympians do not get paid a penny to compete for their country, and I think that is one of the greatest things about the Games. They are not in it for the money; they are in it truly for the love of their sports. It is awe inspiring, when in the opening ceremonies of the games they give short profiles of some of the athletes of each country, and they broadcast that they are bricklayers or accountants or students pursuing a degree. This is what I feel is so inspiring about the athletes, that they are just ordinary people with extraordinary athletic abilities.

We have all heard of the greats: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Shaun White, Missy Franklin, and many more. Why sure, they all definitely have a crazy amount of talent in their bodies, but riding on talent is never enough. It is through the long hours and every day training that they are able to achieve greatness; with the thrill of drive right by their side. You can ask any Olympian, and I guarantee none of them would say, “I got here without putting any extra work in.” No, never would this happen; and that is what magical about the Olympics. These are people that want something in their lives and are willing to sacrifice anything for it.
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