They did it! Hunter, Manny, Gwen, Sarah and Laura — they represented Team USA and the close knit family of USA Triathlon. They trained. They prepared. They sacrificed. They showed up. They toed the line with the world's best. They raced and fought hard. Congratulations Team USA! We are all so proud of you!
I don't know about you, but watching the Olympics makes my blood stir. It's exhilarating. It's motivating. It's gut wrenching. It's amazing to watch athletes of all different backgrounds, ethnicity and cultures come together and speak the language of "sport." Although wars happen, political disputes tear countries apart, and we are hard pressed to find common ground in today's world, sport is an arena where we can come together and unite as one.
Sport is a universal language. Sport transcends so many areas of our lives. Sport, especially the Olympic Games, is a welcomed reprieve where we can put differences aside, join together in one place and compete. During the Games we have a deeper sense of pride in our country and we cheer on the athletes as if we knew them as close friends. We wipe away tears when the gymnast sticks her landing and find ourselves shouting at the TV watching Phelps swim his final race.
I once heard it said: "The Olympics isn't every four years. It's every day." That couldn't be more true. Just ask any athlete who has pursued the dream of becoming an Olympian. You don't just wake up one day and make it. It requires years of dedication, hard work, patience and perseverance. In addition, it's not just the athlete. Behind each athlete is a dedicated support team: coaches, training partners, masseuse, chiropractor, sport psychologist, family and sponsors. Although it is the athlete that has to put in the work, the network of support is a huge factor in fulfilling their dreams. It really does take a village.
As we enter the latter part of the tri season, take the Olympic spirit with you as you train and race. Sport is about becoming the best YOU can be. Use your competition to bring out the best in you. You never know how far you can go until you try!
And the Olympic spirit is not just for the world of sport, but it can be applied to the game of life. Whether training, racing, working or spending time with family, we can all strive to be the best we can be. And not just on game day or "every four years," but every day! Every day is an opportunity to be a gold-medal athlete, mom, boss, employee, friend... We can bring our A-game every day striving to be all that we can be while also bringing out the best in others.
Remember: "The Olympics isn't every four years. It's every day."