It’s the 2014 Winter Olympics and the race is on for the prestigious gold medal. While the athletes competing in their sport are going for the gold, no doubt any medal is welcome. And then there are those teams and individuals for whom just being able to compete in the Olympics is success.
I don’t know if we have any future Olympians in our family, but we do have a granddaughter who is deserving of the gold medal for imagination. It’s her picture that is at the beginning of this post.
This is the same granddaughter that brought us Purple Power and had a scary entry into this world. While she looks like Swamp Child, I’m sure there was a much more creative and detailed account that precipitated her awesome, natural look. She, and her sisters, are never at a loss for imaginative play.
I think that’s what is also inspiring about the Olympics. It takes incredible determination and commitment to train and compete at the highest level. The journey is full of sacrifice for individuals and their families. But it must also be rich with imagination. It’s a vision of what can be. It’s the harnessing of creative power and channeling it through the athlete’s body to achieve what few can. It’s using raw talent and honing it to precision, and then presenting it on the world stage in sport competition.
Of course, there is an underbelly to everything and these Winter Olympics have it’s own. There is ugliness and wrong in just about everything humanity touches, but that doesn’t mean we ignore or refuse to celebrate those good things come about as a result of individuals, teams, and nations coming together to compete in sport.
Maybe we need to be a little more like three year-old Aliya and unleash our gold medal imaginations. Maybe we need to go with what we have – even if it’s just mud – and create an opportunity to just enjoy what’s here. Maybe we take a risk, even if we know we won’t win, knowing we’ve competed just for the pure joy of participation.