“For athletes, the Olympics are the ultimate test of their worth.” ~ Mary Lou Retton
As the 2012 Olympic Games draw to a close, I just wanted to take a moment and thank every athlete that participated in the games for their dedication to their sport and the inspiration they gave to so many. At a time when it isn’t always easy to find individuals who inspire others, when world leaders and political figure-heads often border on despicable, when society idolizes rap musicians and reality TV stars, it touches so many lives to see actual people who have dedicated their lives to being the best they could possibly be. From Michal Phelps setting a new standard in Olympic medals to Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter running on artificial limbs; from the final curtain on veterans such as Misty May-Traenor to exciting newcomers like Missy Franklin, even unexpected shows of respect such as Jamaican Usain Bolt stopping in the middle of an interview simply because the Star Spangled Banner was playing in the stadium; the Olympic Games can be sure to bring inspiration to those who seek it.
The 2012 Olympics may have been a disappointment to a few people, such as gymnast Mckayla Maroney – a near certain gold medal in the vault – only to sit on her final landing and settle for silver, but even such as devastating disappointment should not take away from the fact that she stepped onto one of life’s biggest stages and tried her best. That is the common thread of the Olympics. Some fell short of their goals, some surpassed their goals, but every one of those athletes worked countless hours to step onto the Olympic stage and should be proud of their accomplishments.
It will be another four years before we will see Olympic athletes take center stage once again, and with the rapid decline of society today, who knows what changes we might see in the next four years, but one thing is certain – Olympic athletes will do their best. They will have spent the past four years in preparation for that single moment when they can inspire the world.
I thank each and every one of the Olympians of the 2012 Olympic Games for their commitment and dedication – and most of all for the tremendous inspiration they have been – and will continue to be – to so many.