2 YEPs worth
As we approach the 2008 Olympics and join millions and millions of people around the world transfixed by the incredible athletic achievements of the competitors, we are moved by the dedication and unbelievable investment by the athletes, their families, coaches, team members and everyone who made their participation possible.
A friend of ours tried out for the Olympic Swimming team. This amazing young man had worked towards this goal almost his entire life. Every morning including Christmas he was up at 5:30 a.m. off to the pool. Virtually every day of his life he worked out, pushing himself ever harder. He did not do this on his own. Every step of the way his family supported him. He won a full swimming scholarship to the University of Iowa where his coaches and team mates pushed him even further. He "red shirted" himself for a full semester to increase his training schedule. This amazing young man worked harder than he thought was possible.
He did not qualify for the team. He was 36th in a field of 72 in the 1500 meters. Is he a failure? Heck no - he is still the same incredible young man he ever was - one of the very best in the world, but not on the team... He is young enough to try again if he wants it that bad. I don't know that he will sacrifice another four years for this goal.
So as we all watch the Olympics and the glory that goes with it, just remember just how often you root for the underdog. And how important good sportsmanship is. Not only in the Olympics, but in every day life.