I knew someone will say something until the end of the Games – and I was sooooooo happy to hear Clara Hughes saying the perfect thing today. Clara is the only athlete in the whole world to win multiple medals in both Summer and Winter Olympics: she won 2 bronze medals in Atlanta, for Cycling; then she switched to speed skating and won a gold medal (2006), a silver medal (2006), and 2 bronze medals (2002, 2010). She’s not a very young athlete either – being born in 1972.
That was my mini-presentation for Clara. And today – after she won her last Olympic medal, the reporter asked her something along the lines of ‘Although you won only a bronze medal, you are still happy. Why?’
Please note somewhere her words – they are the most precious words you can ever hear in relation to a competition (not her exact words, I will try to find an exact quote and re-post exactly, but a good rendition):
I hear people talking about medals, owning the podium… I don’t think about that – I see it in terms of excellence – excellence in performance, excellence in athleticism… I train to be ready physically and mentally, to peak when it is the right moment… I was ready today and I knew I will be the best I could ever be – and that’s what I did: I gave it all and I had the best time of my life…
I am sure you have heard these ideas before – goals must be based on performance, not results. Train to be ready, to get your best form, train both your muscles and your mind. Not to gain a medal (or a trophy), but to be your best, to give your best. When you are ready, when you wake up in the morning being calm, prepared, confident, and enjoying your day – performance will transform itself into results.
P.S. Congratulations again to all Canadian Olympic athletes – and congratulations to both Canadian Bobsleigh teams and to the 5000-relay team!