Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
Columns

The Olympics and life

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:21 PM

The Olympics give us the opportunity to see that hard work and dedication generally create positive results. Perhaps the favorite does not meet expectations, but any one of the athletes who wins a medal did it because of the aforementioned dedication and hard work.

Look at the number of athletes who returned for the second, third, or fourth time and continued to perform at such a high level. Michael Phelps ended up with 22 medals over three Olympics with 18 of them gold. That record will be difficult to beat.

The beauty about the contest is that there is no doubt about who won in nearly every case. The exceptions are in diving, boxing, and gymnastics where judges must give grades vice a measuring stick or stop watch. We may not always agree with the results, but such is life. It is so great to be able to witness such superior performances by these contestants.

Another aspect is the sportsmanship that is exhibited by the participants. There may be exceptions, but they are rare. Perhaps the world record holder or the fastest person does not win the race, but there is no doubt who won. At the end of the race, it is obvious who won.

Our Olympic committee works diligently to send the very best athletes to represent the country at the Olympics. Many promising people become injured and are unable to compete, but unlike many other endeavors, the committee does not select any other than the best at the trials.

The country expects that we will always do well during the games since we have such superb coaches and facilities where we develop the best talent. We look for superior results and that comes from selecting the best.

Notice that many of the foreign athletes who compete attended our universities and were trained by our coaches before they represented their countries at the Olympics. That is just one additional indication of how open this country is and its willingness to share its bounty.

Unlike many other aspects of life, the Olympics have not been charged with insuring that a certain percentage of ethnic background be represented in various events. The emphasis is on results and not diversity.

It is obvious that certain ethnic groups do much better in some sports and not as well in others. There are exceptions in nearly every sport, but generally groups perform better in certain sports. That is not a problem as far as I am concerned and it should not be a problem for countries. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Summer Olympics and look forward to the Winter Olympics. 


Donald J. Myers, a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, is a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at dmyersusmc@aol.com.
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