If you have been watching the summer Olympics, you cannot help but be impressed by these athletes. From the youngest competitors to the seasoned veterans, these athletes have trained for years to reach the skill levels needed to compete in this global forum. In many cases, their families have also made tremendous sacrifices so these men and women can pursue gold, silver or bronze and their moment of fame.
The news coverage includes many stories of challenges that many athletes have met in order to compete. An Irish gymnast named Kieran Behan battled back from a head injury and two torn ACL’s, and surgical complications to compete as the only gymnast from Ireland. His supporters at home held bake sales and other fund raisers so he could pursue his dream. US gymnast Gabby Douglas had the support of her family as she moved to Iowa to receive the caliber of coaching she needed to get to the Olympics. Indeed, almost every athlete has a story of ups and downs and obstacles to overcome in their pursuit of gold. The common denominator: none of them ever gave up.
While many of us might throw in the towel after failing or being injured, these competitors refuse to give in. They continue to work toward their Olympic dreams, even knowing that there is only one gold medal to be won in each event by a group of equally fierce competitors. This strong personal commitment takes heart. Win or lose, we commend all the Olympic athletes for their efforts.