I went to a private school that was kindergarten through eighth grade. Once a year there was a school wide track and field day. All the students from grade 4-8 would choose two events and everyone had their moments to experience the glory of competition. The most popular events drew the best athletes, I thought I could cheat the system and get a medal by choosing a fringe event. Instead of competing against fifty kids in the hundred meter dash or high jump, I chose the three thousand meter run against six kids.
I was in fourth grade at the time, making me ten years old. I was the youngest one in the race, the others were all thirteen or fourteen and had been running the three thousand for years. They dominated me. I was so slow and they were so far ahead and there was no way I could beat them. I forget how many laps we had to complete but it was a lot, and that was a long time to know that I’m going to be in dead last. I just put my head down and kept on running around the track.
After a while I heard cheering. I thought someone finally won and it would be over soon. I kept running. I heard more cheering. I kept running. More cheers. And then my name. I realized that the cheers were for me. My fellow fourth graders were cheering for me, rooting me on. They didn’t care that I was clearly losing. They just didn’t want me to give up. I can’t remember how long it took me to cross the finish line but I did it and I did it because of them. It was a great feeling. Like something out of a Disney sports movie. I never ran the three thousand again. I never needed to. I already did it.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young
The 2012 Olympic Games are quickly approaching and the Olympic Trials have started. Athletes from all around the world are competing amongst each other for the chance to represent their country. Every athlete dreams of winning a gold medal, but before you get the chance to compete you have to qualify. Years and years of training and personal sacrifices depend on how well you perform… all the hardships you endured could be worth it, or you could have wasted your entire life.
I’m from America, so naturally I’ve been watching the U.S. Olympic Trials. I’ve only seen a handful of events like women’s field hockey, diving, and gymnastics. It’s not a lot of events, but it’s enough to start to catch Olympic fever. You start to hear the stories of the athletes and what they’ve gone through, both physically and mentally, to reach the point where they are now. I love when they show the parents and family members of athletes, seeing them laugh and cry with each success and setback. The drama is as real as it gets. You give up your life and your youth for the chance to compete and the slightest mistake can ruin your career.
Seeing an athlete overcome the fatigue and pressure and rise to the occasion and achieve their dream is inspirational. And it makes you feel lazy for sitting on the couch and watching a kid accomplish something that you will never experience. But good for him. I’m not bitter.
Watching a champion doing what he does is cool and all, but nothing is an inspiring as an athlete who falls down and gets right back up. It’s inspiring. It’s why people compete. You don’t have to get a medal to be a winner. The whole point of the Olympics is to represent your country and wear your colors with dignity, pride, and honor. If Cool Runnings taught us anything, it’s that losers can be heroes.
Making the Olympic team is like buying a lottery ticket. You can’t win the jackpot unless you buy a ticket and you can’t win the gold if you don’t qualify. And just because you qualify doesn’t mean you will win. I buy a lot of lottery tickets and I never won the jackpot. And a lot of people have qualified for the Olympics and never won a medal. I don’t know why I’m comparing a game of random luck to an event that relies on skill that occurs every four years, but I am. And you are reading it, so what does that say about you?
The Summer Games are way better than the Winter Games. No offense to all you bobsled fans.
Critically Rated at 14/17