by Cinthia Jahnson
“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” Missy Franklin, three-time medalist Olympian.
In 1992, at the Barcelona Olympic games Derek Redmond tore his hamstring during the 400m race in the Olympics. He was a promising athlete and many thought he would medal in this race. When his hamstring tore, he was determined to finish the race. His father ran out of the stands to help his son finish the race. Although crowds present were not all from the same country, they roared their support for the athlete’s courage and determination to finish something he had been training for for so many years of his life. We live in a world where so many of us focus on our own misery, our own problems, our own weaknesses. We compare our weaknesses to others strengths, we become offended when offense wasn’t meant to be given. But here, people came together to grieve with his Olympic loss, cheer for his perseverance, and show support for this wonderful athlete and his life’s work of training and preparing for that day.
“‘Falling in life is inevitable — staying down is optional.’” – Carrie Johnson, Olympic Kayaker.
The Olympics seems to be a symbol of hope to those who, especially the misplaced athletes who were, for the first time in history, part of the refugee’s Olympic team. With the refugee crisis growing larger every day, this symbol of unity and hope brings the world together for a common purpose and a reason to believe in a better world out there in the future. It brings a feeling of hope in the world for a common goal, common camaraderie, and world wide support for one another. Even though they are competing against each other, each athlete has gone through an incredible, and difficult journey to get where they are today.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammed Ali, gold medalist in boxing.
These athletes are just people like me and you. But they had a dream. Have you ever had a dream that you thought would be so great but thought it would be impossible to achieve? We all have.
Unlike fairy tales, most hopes and dreams take a lot of work, sweat, tears, patience and acceptance. Those things that are worth the most to us, are the things that we fight for the most. No matter what your dream or goals in life may be, hang in there! You can do hard things. Life was not meant to be walk in the park.
“Nothing can substitute for just plain hard work.”- Andre Agassi, gold medalist in tennis
No matter the odds, no matter what your age, you can work to make the world a better place and have an influence for good in your life and the lives of those around you. These athletes have teams, coaches, parent’s friends and families who have all helped them along their journey. They did not get to where they are by themselves. Finding a good support team and surrounding yourself with people who uplift and encourage can make all the difference when searching for making steps to better your life. Those people are out there. This world is full of good, you just have to be willing to see it.
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does — that makes you a winner right there.” -Venus Williams, Olympic Medalist.
If we could all remember each day, that we are all just people. We all make mistakes. We all are trying our best to get by in this world. What a wonderful world it would be if we could have the courage to stand for what’s right, cheer on those who are different from us and in need of support, and remember that we are all human beings with unalienable rights and hopes for happiness.
“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” -Wilma Rudolph,