Life Lessons from the Olympics
By Holly McElwee
My family gas been glued to our TV lately as we’ve enjoyed the latest edition of the Winter Olympics. I love the level of danger in these winter events! Zooming down a mountain at 80mph definitely qualifies as trip on the wild side.
Even though these Olympics are almost over, you can still use them as an opportunity to teach your kids a few life lessons. Olympic athletes and regular folks all need strategies if we aspire to achieve.
1. Hard work is required for success. Olympic athletes are the perfect example of hard work. Day after day for weeks, months, and years…training for the games requires blood, sweat and tears. Some athletes spend a lifetime training for the chance to compete in the Olympics.
2. Training is important. After hard work comes training. Each sport has a specific skill set that has to be mastered through very exact training. Most professions around the world also hold true to this concept. Skills must be taught and learned if success is to follow.
3. Commitment is key. The athletes in these games are dedicated to their sports. They follow their commitments through from beginning to end. Even when it’s hard and even when it’s not fun, commitment to success is evident in the Olympic athletes.
4. The journey is as important as the end result. Everyone who goes to the Olympics hopes to win a medal. However, all athletes know that the journey they’ve taken to reach the Olympics is important, too. We all go through a journey in life, and it’s not always the end result that’s most important. We learn and grow as we walk the road of life.
5. Our differences make us unique. One of the most enjoyable parts of the Olympics is the interaction between the different countries. Whether it’s skin color, language, cultural traditions, dress, or religion, the Olympics provide opportunity to celebrate the differences that make each person and country interesting. What a boring world it would be if we were all the same!
6. There’s no time for quitters. The difficult training must be frustrating for Olympic athletes. However, quitting can’t be an option. They’ve got to stick it out through good times and bad, even when it’s hard. The hard is what makes the accomplishment so much greater in the end. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.
7. Patriotism is important. Every time an American stands on the medal podium, I feel a sense of pride. These athletes represent what’s best about our country. No wonder I get choked up when the national anthem plays for a gold medal winner. Our country may not always be perfect, but at the end of the day, this is still the greatest nation on earth, and we should be proud of it and our accomplishments.
Even after the Olympics are over, you can reinforce these ideas to your children as concrete examples of hard work and perseverance, patriotism and commitment. Adults, too, can be inspired by the wonderful example set forth from our Olympic athletes.
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