Life Lesson #1: Family is more important than an Olympic gold.
When Canadian Alex Bilodeau won gold in the freestyle skiing event, he first hugged his brother who has developmental delays. He only agreed to be interviewed after he celebrated with his brother. In an earlier win, Alex shook hands with the Canadian Prime Minister only after he hugged his brother. Alex also gave the gold medal to his brother calling him, “my inspiration.” Alex showed his heart is bigger than any ambition he has.
Life Lesson #2: It takes a village.
When cross country skier Jessie Diggins who grew up near Stillwater, MN, needed money to make the national ski team, she put a bucket for donations out at a ski hut near Stillwater. The owner of the business asked her how much money she hoped to raise? She said, “$20,000.” He decided to hold a fund-raising dinner for her and has raised $10,000 per year for Jessie. Every coach Jessie had and team member she skied with, gathered to watch her ski this week and felt a connection to her dream.
Life Lesson #3: Be humble.
When hockey player T.J. Oshie scored the winning goal in the shoot-out between the U.S. men’s hockey team and the Russian hockey team, someone called him a “hero” online. Oshie responded by saying that those who work in the military to protect our country are the real heroes.
Life Lesson #4: Be a graceful loser.
Olympic athletes pour every ounce of energy they have to be a world-class athlete, generally living with little income while they pursue their passion. Thousands of hours of effort have gone into being the best they can possibly be. Yet, when these athletes come in 2nd, 7th, or 29th, they handle the loss with grace serving as excellent role models for our kids.
Life Lesson #5: It’s only through effort that you succeed.
When Olympic Gold Medalists in Ice Dancing Meryl Davis and Charlie White began skating together in suburban Detroit, she was 9 and he was 8. They’ve spent 29,000 hours practicing together to accomplish their feat of being the best in the world. We can imagine that they’ve fallen hundreds, if not thousands of times, in practice. Each time they got back up, responded to correction from their coach, and learned from their mistake so they could improve their performance. What a valuable lesson for all of us.
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