I’ve really been enjoying the Sochi Winter Games. As I’ve been doing all sorts of home improvement projects, I’ve caught several different events. Some of these I didn’t even know existed, and others I had heard of, but knew nothing about. It’s been entertaining and educational.
Watching these Olympics has also made me wonder how it is that Olympians get started. How does someone wake up one day and decide that they’re going to train to be an Olympic skeleton racer, or an Olympic ice dancer? People don’t have ski jumps in their backyards, do they? They don’t have luge courses or mogul hills down the street, right? So somewhere along the way these athletes were introduced to these sports and they began training. I understand figure skating and hockey, snowboarding and downhill skiing, but some of those other sports really puzzle me. How exactly do you begin your short track racing career, or your training in the sport of curling? You just pack a bag and head off to bobsled camp? Enroll in slope style academy? I just don’t know.
In all of the sports, it is clear that the athletes are dedicated and most of them, in my opinion, are fearless. They take incredible risks in order to perform at their peak. Many of them risk life and limb, literally, in order to beat the clock and the competition. They have a fire and dedication that I can’t help but admire, even if I don’t understand it.
I love that every two years we check in on the athletes of the world, and every four years we revisit our favorite events and learn about new ones. I also love that the athletes show us that hard work and dedication do pay off. That’s a message that we can’t hear often enough.