Friday, February 19, 2010

Faster, Higher, Stronger

As a kid, snow days were awesome, but every four years they were something more: snow days were magical. Upon learning that school was called for the day due to wintry weather, I would make a mug of hot chocolate and sit down to watch the Winter Olympics - all day. I could never get enough of helmets shaking about in a bobsled or the graceful turnings of the slalom skier. I was fascinated to find out what people from New Zealand looked like (normal, as it turned out) or to realize the excitement of countries like Estonia competing as their own country for the first time. Ice hockey was my favorite sport, but I would even watch curling and the biathlon. I was a Winter Olympics junkie.

Today, twenty years and 5 Olympiads later, I am no different. Armed with the capability of recordable television, I am determined to catch as much of the Vancouver 2010 games as possible. I've already seen the lowest of lows regarding the tragedy of a life ended to soon, Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. I've also witnessed a euphoric high: Montreal native Alexandre Bilodeau (pictured above) rocking the men's mogul competition, the first ever Canadian to win a gold on home soil.

While I am confident there is much more to come in these games, I wonder if there isn't a way I can channel the determination, stamina, and focus of all of the Olympic athletes into my own life. Because I can't hit tricks on the snowboard halfpipe or skate blindingly fast doesn't mean that I can't apply the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger" to my everyday experience. I hate to sound motivational, but the real reason I love the Winter Olympics is because they always remind me of the untapped potential available in all of us. We all have the capability to stun and astonish ourselves, kind of like Shaun White uncorking the Double McTwist 1260.

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