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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nichole

3 LESSONS I LEARNED FROM THE OLYMPICS


“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”- Steve Prefontaine I hope you all enjoyed watching the Olympics as much as I have. I love it because every single one of them are stoic warriors pushing through all adversity, grinding day in and day out to be the best in the world.They put in years of work behind closed doors, mastering their craft, falling, and then picking themselves back up. They fight demons and sometimes lose, but they keep fighting anyways with con


fidence that they will win eventually. They embody the spirit of Steve Prefontaine who was a long-distance runner who competed in the 1972 summer Olympics. He was a warrior. He acknowledged that someone MAY beat him, but man are they going to have to bleed to do it. I was reading a book the other day that talked a lot about him and I just loved his spirit. It made me think of how when I was watching the Olympics the person in 1st was no different than the person who was in last in the sense that: both of them were giving their all, even if each person’s effort looked different. This all leads me to write these 3 lessons that I learned from watching the Olympics.

  1. BE SOMEONES KAITY LEDECKY

If you don’t know who Kaity Ledecky is, she is a competitive swimmer for the USA. She has won 7 Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship gold medals, making her of course, the greatest female swimmer of all time. Not only is Kaity LeDecky one of the best examples of what hard work and dedication look like, but she is also the prime example of the type of character all people/ athletes should embody. Kaity Ledecky up until this point of the 2020 Olympics had never lost a race. That is until someone by the name of Ariarne Titmus of Australia came along. Titmus ended up beating Kaity in the 400-meter freestyle. When Kaity Ledecky lost she was then interviewed after the race. Kaity didn’t feel sorry for herself, hang her head, beat herself up, trash talk Titmus (something most of us would do). She did something different. Kaity said “it has been such an HONOR to race Titmus, we have pushed each other not only during the Olympics but over the past 5 years to get to this point. I am so grateful to have her to race.” So first off, Kaity says about the girl who is the first to beat her that she is HONORED to have her to race. I don’t know about you but I have NEVER said I was honored to race against or play against a team or player that has just beaten me. Next Titmus is interviewed after the race where she beat Kaity Ledecky and said “I thank Kaity for pushing me, I wouldn’t be here without her. She set the standard for the middle-distance-free style. If I didn’t have someone like her to chase, I definitely wouldn’t be swimming the way I am.” After I heard that I instantly thought to myself BE SOMEONES KAITY LEDECKY, be the standard for which someone pushes themselves to be the absolute best they can be. Be someone who makes someone wake up and want to be the greatest of all time, give someone a target for them to aim at. I love these two appreciations for each other, I hope we can all be a little more like Kaity.

  1. FIND YOUR VOICE

I will be honest I do not know much about fencing; in fact, I don’t really know anything about fencing other than it looks like a lot of fun. I had the privilege of being able to watch Lee Kiefer a 27-year-old woman from Kentucky be the first ever to win gold in a woman’s individual foil. I turn the channel on at the perfect time and thought “hey this looks fun I’m going to watch this”. Now I had no clue I was watching history being made or how important this match was. Like I said I don’t know much and I’m sure she was obviously awesome the whole time but I noticed something and maybe I am the only one. At the beginning of the match for a gold medal, Lee was very calm and composed. On the other hand, Lee’s opponent from Russia, Deriglazova was playing very rushed and fast and seemed..anxious. I noticed as the match went on Lee started to match that energy and became very rushed and not as calm and composed as she was before. Lee started playing with that same rushed anxious energy Deriglazova was playing with. That was until Lee’s husband yells from the crowd “FIND YOUR VOICE” at least I think it was her husband. Either way, someone on Lee’s cheer squad yelled that. Shortly after Lee won. Maybe I am making this more inspirational than it should be, or maybe I am not. To me, this was a great lesson and stuck with and something I want to continue to work on. All too often, we lose our voice. We start following the crowd, we play down to our opponents’ level, we forget who WE ARE and we lose ourselves along the way. All too often I would play awesome teams and compete at their level and hang with the best of them. And on the flip side all to often I would play with the worst teams and compete at their level. IF ONLY I would have played to MY LEVEL to my standard, my voice, I believe there would have been a lot more wins than loses. Play at your standard, love at your standard, do your craft at YOUR STANDARD using YOUR VOICE. Our voice is an artistic expression of who we are and our voice leaves a mark on everything we do. If you lost it find it, and hold on to it and let it leave marks everywhere you go. FIND YOUR VOICE!!

  1. THE WORLD IS 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds. DON’T TRY TO CARRY IT ALONE

Simone Biles. I shouldn’t have to tell you who this is by now. If you didn’t know who she was before you know who she is now, not because of the THOUSANDS of moments she showed up and gave it her all and fought through adversity, but for the one moment she had to walk away because the weight of the world was too much for her to carry alone. Simone Biles is a gymnast for the USA. She has a combined total of 32 Olympic and world championship medals. Simone also has four gymnastic skills named after her (pretty amazing I know). As you can see Simone is pretty amazing, in fact, the best gymnast in the world. Now being the greatest of all time sounds awesome but it comes with a lot of pressure. Being the greatest requires you to well….be the greatest. One slip up, one mistake, one loss, and the whole world is watching you, judging you, critiquing you. And that is exactly what happened to Simone. At the Olympics Simone decided to withdraw and that she no longer felt safe competing. The pressure of everything was getting to her and she just couldn’t do it. Simone decided to put her mental health first and take a step back. This sent the world into a shock. There were tons of support and there were tons of backlash telling her to suck it up or if you can’t handle the pressure then don’t be an Olympian (coming from people who barely walk a mile a day, no offense). For me, I saw this as someone saying “Hey I can’t carry the weight of the world anymore, I can’t carry around all this pressure, I need some hands, I need people to start helping me hold this thing.” And guess what, most of the world did. I admire her for being so vulnerable so honest and so AUTHENTIC. It showed me and the world that even the greats need help, even the best of the best fall, and need to be picked up. We can’t carry the world alone; we need all hands on deck. If you feel this way, like the pressure is getting to you, or you want to walk away, I encourage you to reach out to your teammates, talk to your friends, parents, etc. and ask for help, we all need to be picked up from time to time. Don’t try to carry the world alone. It’s okay to put it down, and come back and pick it up when you are ready.

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