The 2016 Olympics in Rio are just about a memory and, if your child is anything like mine, they have watched intently. My son is completely smitten with the athletes – the speed, power, skill, and effort. He also loves all the pageantry, sportsmanship, back stories, human interest angles, and historic facts and figures. Every four years (every two actually with the staggered winter games) we get to witness some of the best athletes and role models in the world showcase their talents. While the Olympics scores, records and medals are great, there are also some other great lessons and ideals that children (and adults) can take away from the Olympics. Here are a three – feel free to add yours in the comments below.
EFFORT – These men and women don’t just casually participate. The athletes give everything they have. Not just for a spot on the podium but also for the pride and personal achievement of trying to be the best of the best. For some countries and athletes, this is their one and only chance to be seen and showcase their talent so they give it their all to show the world what they have achieved. Take for instance British runner Mo Farah who actually fell during his race but got back up and went on the win the gold medal!
INTEGRITY – As we all know, life is not just about winning and losing. Of course the athletes show up to win but the Olympic spirit is more about competing with honor, dignity, and grace. Here is the perfect example.
During the semifinal of the women’s 5,000 meter race, two runners got tangled up and fell to the track. New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino from the United States. After falling, D’Agostino helped Hamblin to her feet in order to continue the race. However, a few meters later, D’Agostino collapsed again and started crawling because she was injured too badly to continue running. At the moment, Hamblin decided that she wouldn’t leave her side and she was going to make sure that D’Agostino finished the race. Eventually, D’Agostino told Hamblin to go ahead and she continued to hobble to the finish line, ultimately finishing two minutes behind the winner, ending up in last place. The moral here? Human decency and doing the right thing are always more important than personal gain and victory.
ACCEPTANCE – The Olympic spirit truly embodies the best of what humans can be and should be. Thousands of athletes and people coming together for a common cause. Most don’t speak the same language, they don’t look the same as the next athlete, they don’t have the same customs, or share the same beliefs but they all have one thing in common. The desire do their best and be their best and that is what allows all these different people from around the globe to embrace their differences, open the hearts and their arms, and stand side by side on the track, on the field, and in the arena with someone who is completely different than they are – and that is ultimately the most import lesson that anyone can that away from Rio in 2016!
Rob Youngblood is a Single Dad, Keynote Speaker, Emmy Award Winning TV Host, Communication Expert, Media Consultant, and Reality Coach. Learn more about him at youngbloodlifeandstyle.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.