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Find the Olympic Champion Within Yourself

Jul 2, 2008
The Olympic Games are a time of celebration for incredible physical accomplishments. However, when a country hero wins a medal, we often wait with baited breath that the tests for performance enhancing drugs come back clean. Have we really become that jaded? Unfortunately for many of us, the answer is a depressing yes.

Be honest, how often when you watch an athlete perform an amazing feat that seems to defy human limitations, do we suspect that he/she is on performance enhancing drugs? Even though there have been great advancements in sports technology in how we train and feed our bodies, there is only so much we can push our bodies. This is the cynicism that lives inside us these days: our athletic heroes fall short and are far from perfect.

When we think about sports, we often think about the strength, the grace, the picture of perfect health of the athlete. But the mental game and the spiritual game also come into play as all three components need be unified: the mind, body and soul. For competitive athletes, it is often a more difficult task to achieve spiritual and mental greatness. There is so much at stake: endorsement contracts, state prize money, prestige and to be in the record books forever as an Olympic champion. These are factors that would test any human being. Therefore, it is not only the body that needs to be trained, but how to mentally and spiritually handle the pressure as well.

It is well known that the Olympic motto is faster, higher, stronger, but did you know this other well known ideal comes from the Olympic creed?

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Perhaps this is why the most compelling stories that come out of the Olympic games are not of the expected winners but those who have fought to attain their Olympic dreams.

There is also a lesson here for those of us who are not athletically gifted enough to compete in the Olympics: it's the journey and the struggle that makes life more rewarding. For the future, instead of picking Olympic champions for motivational inspiration, we can be our own champions as we strive to triumph in our daily lives.
About the Author
Mariam Ma writes for Olympic Blvd, a site that celebrates true Olympic spirit as personified by the 2008 Beijing Olympics FUWA mascots. Visit Olympic Blvd for souvenirs of FUWA Mascot Jingjing dolls and FUWA Mascot Nini dolls
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