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What We Can Learn From Our Olympic Athletes

Watching the Olympics is awe inspiring and there’s so much that we can learn from these amazing athletes. They establish a shining example of what hard work and determination (with the right support) can achieve.

Go For Gold!

Some of us will be motivated to hit the gym by their example but even if our resolve fails there will be those who will be driven to achieve their own Olympic goals as a direct result of what they’ve seen in Sochi. How many of this year’s Olympic stars are there because they were inspired watching a past Olympic hero compete?

Nutrition, Training and Perseverence

Watching these athletes perform demonstrates how important nutrition and a well thought out training program is. Not one could have gained their spot at the Olympics were it not for a training program that stretched back years.  They are also perfect examples of how important it is to set goals and to plan how to reach them and also, the need for patience and perseverance. Even the value of taking time off to refocus is highlighted by the achievements of Alex Bilodeau and others who took time away from their sport and came back with increased energy and determination. They remind us that the path to success isn’t always straight and sometimes a detour helps us find our way.


The other valuable example that these Olympics provide is the value of mental resilience.  You’ve seen the pre-race images of the athletes going through their moves before their competition. Mental imagery, going over how you are going to perform, is a vital part of anyone’s success, in life or at the Olympics. However, these athletes don’t just focus on how to do things right. They imagine things going wrong and how they would compensate. Imagining an edge that’s caught or losing your balance on a turn focuses your thoughts on what you’d do so that when that split second happens you’ve already rehearsed the plan in your mind. The result is the ability to bounce back. How many athletes have used a bad preliminary race to improve the next time around? Those that can’t, fail; those that are good at it, are more likely to succeed. This is a valuable lesson even for those of us who aren’t contemplating going down the bobsled run at breakneck speeds. Make the time to go through what your day is going to be like and anticipate what could go wrong. Don’t expect your taxi to make you late for that interview but if you already know how you might deal with that situation if it does happen, you’ll be in a much better position to prevail.

And that’s one of the most important lessons that we can take away from these Olympics games. If you learn how to develop your own mental resiliency you’ll see that your stress levels will go down and your life will be that much easier. What a fabulous gift for these games to leave behind!

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