I have to say right off the bat that I am not the biggest sports fan, but having lived in Vancouver for 20 years, it was great to see my former home town throw such a great party. As I composed myself after the hockey game and my Canadian pride had a chance to settle, what really struck me about these Olympic games were the stories about the athletes. It didn’t matter where they came from, it was how they played. It would be hard to try and find an Olympian without a growth mindset (see my post on Carol Dweck’s presentation).
The Slovenian cross country skiier who fell in a trial run and with 5 bruised ribs, skiied to a bronze medal. Or Evan Lysacek, American figure skater, who after a poor showing at the Torino games four years ago, worked hard for four years to come back and win the gold.
I asked the children what some of their favorite moments were and snowboarder Shaun White came up – someone in a class all his own who continues to propel the sport forward. Another student mentioned Lindsey Vonn who won a gold after a serious injury. And another mentioned Canadian figure skater Joanie Rochette who lost her mother to a heart attack just days before she skated to a bronze medal. All of these such great role models of hard work, perseverance, and a belief in oneself.
I also have to applaud my home town for being resilient to its setbacks, being able to laugh at itself, learn from its mistakes, and have a great time.