After Further Review … If you love and value the opportunity to compete (e.g. individual vs. individual or T.E.A.M. vs. T.E.A.M., or even just you vs. the environment), you gotta love the Olympics. However, when you consider what “vs.” (versus) means, let me ask you to consider that an individual athlete is really competing with his/her potential.
Regarding the word potential, I am reminded what Washington Redskins RB John Riggins (Super Bowl XVII – MVP) said when asked how he amassed 166 yards rushing (Super Bowl record at the time). John is quoted as saying, “I played beyond my potential.” Oops, sorry John, but you can’t play beyond your potential. You can beat your previous best, but not beyond that of which you are capable.
Let’s go back 30 years to the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid and sportscaster Al Michaels’ widely celebrated words, “Do you believe in miracles?” when the USA Hockey T.E.A.M. ‘upset’ the highly favored Russian T.E.A.M. And now, in 2010, T.E.A.M. USA accomplished more than was expected winning the Silver medal. Did they reach their potential?
Katherine Reutter, who had lost out (no medals) on 2 previous women’s individual speed skating events at the games in Vancouver, yet had 2 more events to go (the 3000 meter relay and the 1000 meter women’s individual), said she didn’t consider her non-medal races as failures but, “I’m thinking, it’s two down and two to go.” Reaching ones “potential” insists on an attitude of “Yes, I can!” And she did by medaling in her last two events!
Did Canada’s ice dancer Joannie Rochette perform to her potential when she competed just 2 days after the sudden death of her mother? As she skated to assume her starting pose (the beginning of her short skate program), spectators, coaches and everyone could sense that thoughts of her mother were racing through her head. However, the extensive training she had done overtook those thoughts as she skated to what someone described as a “dream performance with her mother jumping up and down in the sky.” She performed the extraordinary by winning the Bronze medal.
And finally, I was going to comment on the winter sporting event called “curling,” but I fell asleep during the event. In explaining that Olympic sport to me, someone said, “Think of shuffleboard – without the excitement.”
Will you compete in whatever you do with the idea that you can achieve your potential?