One of the biggest blows to our collective consciousness in 2020 was the delay of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. There is something special about not only the athletes competing but the nations coming together to participate in the games in a spirit of good sportsmanship and kindness. This was perhaps no more apparent than when the Olympics were in Salt Lake City in 2002 and a freshly post-9/11 world needed something to unite around.
Now we finally have the Olympics in Tokyo and even though it isn’t quite the same without crowds or typical spectacle there still is much to be inspired by. Of course, we have our tried and true favorite sports like swimming and artistic gymnastics but we also have new sports to enjoy like skateboarding and surfing! (Also taking in some more obscure events like ping-pong is super fun!).
But what can we take away from the Olympians to help us in our quest for healthy living? There are a lot but the main one is dedication. An Olympian never gives up. The Olympics only happen every 4 years so for most of these athletes competing in the Olympics is a one and done experience. They get one shot at their dreams and that’s it. The dedication this requires is unbelievable. So many morning training sessions before school. So many missed activities like proms and high school plays.
Perhaps when we are frustrated and tempted to give up we can look at the Olympians and push forward, try harder, keep going? We all have goals we want to accomplish and sometimes physical fitness can seem out of reach, impossible, but if we keep at it we can be successful.
Olympians also inspire us with their sportsmanship and teamwork. Each of the Olympians promises in their oath to participate in “the spirit of fair play, inclusion and equality”. This should be the goal for all of us whether it be with a fitness activity or just everyday life. There are always great examples of selfless play in the Olympics and we can follow the example of the athletes in their hard work and kindness to each other.
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