Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Olympics

Soon the world will converge on London to witness the quintessential quadrennial sports event known as the 2012 Summer Olympics. This year athletes representing 205 countries are expected to compete in 300 events to earn the ultimate national bragging right: an Olympic gold medal. Tens of millions worldwide will follow and cheer their country's athletes, as they compete on the world's stage. Naturally, if an athlete from your country wins a gold medal, you are overjoyed. But it doesn't stop there. You become downright emotional when you hear your national anthem played, as the flag is raised to the highest position. The gold medal belongs to the nation's athlete; the pride belongs to its citizens.

So it will be that I will sit in front of a TV or a computer, watching and cheering my nation's teams, as they compete in track and field events, football (soccer), basketball, boxing, wrestling, hockey and weightlifting. But I will also follow my country's progress in events I would not ordinarily follow such as gymnastics, beach volleyball, table tennis and synchronized swimming. For a gold medal in basketball counts as much in the medal tally as a gold medal in table tennis!

But beyond the glory of winning a medal, I tip my hat to the way these athletes conduct themselves. For it is all about the games and not politics. For a few weeks every four years we get to concentrate on the pinnacle of human athletic excellence, the crowning achievement of lives spent immersed in the rigors of honing bodies and abilities to remarkable heights. I like that. Watching these gifted athletes give their best inspires me to give my best -- for my wife, my family, my profession and my country.

If these athletes can train for years to earn a few gilded moments on the world's stage, I can certainly train harder to be the leader I need to be -- for my family, my friends, and my country. Now worthy as these pursuits may be -- and they are indeed commendable -- this is not to say I haven't been honing my own individual sport.

That's right. If channel surfing was an Olympic event, I'd surely be a contender.

No comments :