Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Olympic Spirit - I Believe

There was so much I wanted to post when the Olympics were on but it just didn't happen. It was really rather sad I thought, just one lonely Olympic post.

But then. Then I was saved.

Because following hard on the heels of the Olympics was the Paralympics.

And I realized the obvious ... that the Olympics weren't over, that I hadn't missed anything. That the Olympic spirit lived on.

Because lest we forget, the Olympic spirit is not just about the Olympics. Far from it.

The Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics. They all encompass what makes the human spirit great. Inspiring, even.

Because whether it was Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette's performance two days after her mother's death; Lauren Woolstencroft, a little girl born with no legs below the knee and no left arm who came home from school and retreated to the basement every day, determined to teach herself how to skip, who went on to win five alpine gold medals at this month's Paralympic games or Loretta Claiborne, the middle of seven children in a poor, single-parent family, born partially blind and mildly retarded, unable to walk or talk until age 4 who has twice placed among the top 100 women in the Boston Marathon, won medals in dozens of International Special Olympics games and holds the current women's record in her age group for the 5000 meters at 17 minutes (ironically, as a child she used her speed and strength to protect herself in fights against cruel classmates) ... it's all really about the same thing.

Believing in yourself.

Believing in your dreams.

And. Never. Ever. Giving up.

With which I have some personal, first-hand experience when I see my oldest daughter pump her fist with the world's biggest smile on her face when she finishes in the top three (let alone first place) in a Special Olympic swimming event.

Or when she tells me that someday she will swim in the National Games.

I believe her.

For the simple reason that she believes in herself.

1 comment:

Kris, in New England said...

Love the story about Lauren Woolstencroft at age four telling her father You're not the boss of me.

Heh. Good lesson in there for all of us.