It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish…
No one can have failed to notice the 2020 Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo.
Whilst the time difference has made it difficult to watch some events in real time there is something very magical about waking up to learn that as we’ve all been sleeping people have been doing their best work and medals have been won!!
But this Olympics feels different has been about so much more than medals.
From the opening ceremony there has been an air of inclusivity, tolerance and unity which I personally feel grateful for after such a challenging 18 months or so. It feels like progress for the human race.
Of course we can’t underestimate the impact on those who have been training with 2020 in their sights since before Rio in 2016 then had to suffer a 12 month delay plus those who found themselves able (with real hard work and determination) to seize opportunity and raise their game for the Olympics 3yrs early.
This year more than ever before, mental health and overall well being has been at the forefront as we have observed athletes performing right at the edge of their physical, emotional and mental capacity whilst being able to share their vulnerability without judgement (in the main).
The theme of equality and diversity has been celebrated this time more than in previous Olympics and I’ve enjoyed seeing the mixed team activities in some new sports.
Every day I have been amazed by the commitment, determination and drive which has brought this group of people together after a 12 month delay and they deliver consistently but we need to remember how many times they have failed in order to see how important their success is.
Three particular competitors stand out for me at Tokyo so far and I have no doubt there will be more in the remaining days.
- Firstly in the BMX Women’s when the Team GB fell off during her first attempt. She seemed relatively relaxed about it and went on to win Gold because she KNEW she could do it. She will have practiced that element of the routine so many times that statistically she was probably certain to nail it second time around. To coin the phrase ‘she believe she could, and she did’.
- The next standout for me was in the Women’s 1500m Semi Final when Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan was tripped over by another runner and hit the deck. Disaster! Not. She got up, focussed and ran for her life to win a place in the final. She DIDN’T GIVE UP. Many of us would take the fall and lie there disappointed and distraught but not Hassan.
- Finally in the Men’s High Jump we saw sportsmanship at it’s best when friends and rivals Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy asks to share the gold medal with Muta Essa Barshim of Qatar which in my mind goes to show that even when you have reached the top of your game in your chosen profession you can still edge slightly higher by reaching out to help another to share in your success.
Golden, quite simply golden.