MSEJ February 2018 - Page 10

By: Amy Rossi

Aiming for the Thrill of Victory … but Preparing for the Occasional Defeat

I love this time of year. No, not winter in general, but the anticipation and excitement that accompany the Winter Olympics. It’s magical to watch athletes from around the world as they come together to compete. When I watch them, I’m energized to see them perform breathtaking feats. In the stands and at home, fans root for their favorites; sometimes even the underdog who has a big fall ends up earning the most admiration.

At the Olympics, there’s always a clear winner. We see them smiling on the highest podium, proud to hear their country’s anthem. They’ve trained hard, completed their event with skill, and their reward is a clear, tangible victory. As I watch them, I often wish that careers came with a similar trajectory: a clean,

clear-cut victory that we can appreciate, even if only for a moment.

Instead, our paths tend to look more like the Olympics as a whole rather than a single individual’s success. There are moments of hope, daring attempts that end in triumph, and the pride of overcoming challenges. But there are also agonizing moments of defeat—falls that take us off course, disqualifications that sting, and scores that hurt.

When the opening ceremonies begin, athletes approach their events filled with excitement, despite knowing that only three competitors can take the gold, silver, and bronze. Although we think about the Olympics in terms of perfection, the games are filled with imperfection as well. While new world records are dramatic, losses and disappointments share the same stage.

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