Sport gives people hope, it gives people a voice, it gives people direction!
Sport has the power to make dreams and break dreams, it brings people together and gives people a place to belong.
Summer of sport
This summer has been filled with so much sport, and too many inspiring athletes to name. It started with the Euros, which now seems like a warmup to the main event – the Olympics that many thought would never happen.
Every athlete has a story waiting to be told and this Games has told 11,500 of them. From Helen Glover, the 2 times Olympic medallist, and now mum of three, who decided at the start of the pandemic she would come out of retirement and see if she could qualify for her third Olympics. To Yusra Mardini, one of the 29 strong Olympic Refugee team, who swam at the Olympics, after previously having to swim for her life to flee her own country. To Tom Daley finally winning an Olympic gold after 13 years of trying in his 4th Olympics. To Sky Brown winning a medal at just 13 years old after coming back from a horrific crash just a year before. To the high jumpers, who chose to share gold rather than fight for the title. To the US Women’s basketball team continuing their unbeaten streak to secure their 7th consecutive Olympic gold medal. Each athlete has told their story at this Games, some have suffered heartbreak, whilst others hard work has finally paid off, but most importantly every single athlete has done something that not enough people can say they have done – they have followed their dreams, and in doing so they have inspired others to do the same.
The power to make it happen
Although, I would love to say that we can all become Olympians if we set our minds to it, we all know that we are not all destined to be an Olympian, and to be honest the vast majority of people have very different dreams. However, what the Olympics does show us every 4 years, or in this case 5 years (thanks Covid) is that whatever our passion, whatever our goal, if we truly put our mind to it and put the work in, we can achieve our dreams. Yes, there will be setbacks, yes, we will have to make sacrifices, and our goals may change along the way, but ultimately if we want it, we have the power to make it happen.
Too often the biggest barrier to achieving our dreams or following our passion is the person looking back at us in the mirror, the person in our own head telling us all the reasons why we can’t follow our dreams. However, what these athletes show us time and time again is that it’s up to us to write our own story, we hold the pen!
The motto of the London 2012 Olympic Games was “Inspire a generation”. There is no doubt that this summer of sport, not just the Olympics, has inspired the current and the next generation to write their own stories. Those stories in many cases will not be in sport, but personally I can’t wait to read the stories of the next generation…our generation!
The motto of this year’s Tokyo Games has been “Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together”. There is no doubt that these games have achieved their vision, and like the motto implies we always achieve more if we go there together. If you listen to any of the athletes’ interviews from the games, the first thing they all talk about is the fact that they couldn’t have achieved anything without the team around them and the people that chose to go on the journey with them. The people we surround ourselves with are the key to our success in whatever we choose to do, so like the athletes of the games, ensure you choose the circle to write your story with wisely.
If you can see it, you can be it, and we have most certainly all seen ‘it’ this summer, now it’s up to us all to write our next chapters!
How will yours read this time next year?
Written by Hannah Underhill – @HanCareyPE