The Heart of an Olympian奥运精神
In today’s very competitive world, “second” is often just another word for “loser.” Winners are rewarded with fame and fortune; those who finish second, third or lower in the table are quickly forgotten or completely ignored. It’s a cruel, unfortunate fact of life, and an attitude we should really try to change.
At the 2012 London Olympics more than 10,000 athletes competed, but only about 300 won gold medals. Does that mean everyone else was a loser? Hardly! Each of the athletes who qualified for the Games was, by definition, an Olympian. Their hard work and talent had earned them the right to compete with the best athletes in the world. And each athlete was a winner as soon as they walked into the Olympic stadium behind their nation’s flag at the opening ceremonies.
During the Games we saw many examples of athletes who fell short of the gold, but proved to have the heart of great Olympians. Lee Chong Wei’s classic battle with Lin Dan in the badminton final was surely one. As was Liu Xiang’s attempt to compete in the 110 meter hurdles even though he knew he was badly injured. And then there was 37-year-old German gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. A mother with a child recovering from cancer, she was competing in her sixth Olympics in a sport dominated by teenagers. She finished out of the medals, but won great admiration.
Of course, no one likes to lose, and the number of tears shed at this Olympics must have set a record. It was evidence of the strain and pressure many of these athletes felt. This was certainly true of the Chinese athletes who felt they were carrying the weight of the whole country on their shoulders. But these “losers” have nothing to feel ashamed about. They gave their best effort and the Chinese public didn’t criticize them; they embraced them.
As students, you know all about pressure. The pressure to win prizes and be at the top of the class is something you feel almost daily. But if the Olympics teach us anything, it is that if you have the heart of an Olympian, you can never be a loser.