I know many of you watched the 20120 Summer Olympics because I saw your gazillion postings on Facebook. I’m good with that. I don’t get into them that much though I loved the opening ceremony with Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean. He cracks me up.
I do, however, watch the Winter Olympics and especially love snowboarding. It’s probably due to the fact that there’s nothing else to do in Chicago in Winter except hibernate. I kid.
While the Summer Olympics shenanigans were going on I had to hear about it from everyone else and one such case was that of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee ever to run track in the Olympics. Here’s a guy who at 11 years of age had his legs amputated and yet has kept the dream of one day running in the Olympics.
Oscar’s dream was to compete against “able-bodied” athletes in the Olympics, and the man also known as “The Blade Runner” was able to do just that in the 2012 Olympics in London.
Not only did Oscar compete in the men’s 400 meters, he qualified for the semi-finals, which was his personal goal.
Let me first say, that before the Olympics I was somewhere, out and about, and overheard a conversation where someone said, “Yeah, but if they let this guy participate in the Olympics, the rest of them are going to feel entitled.” Ok, this burned my butt. What? And this was in America where I heard this statement. Land of the free, home of the brave, equal rights for everyone. I was appalled.
Entitled? Shouldn’t everyone, no matter their circumstance or disability, be entitled?
I love stories of folks, against all odds, fighting their way to the finish line. They inspire me to go beyond what I feel, think or am going through.
You can read more of the back-end of the story HERE and how he had to fight to be allowed to participate. Some agree that he had the right and some don’t.
Though there are still naysayer’s rambling about shoulda, coulda, woulda’s, yet this story has inspired people from all over the world, including fellow runner and World Champion sprinter from Grenada, Kirani James. Watch what he does at the end of the race:
As soon as the race was over, James, who finished first in the heat and is a favorite to win the gold, walked over to Pistorius, and traded nametags with him in the ultimate sign of respect for all he has accomplished. I love that. And when James was asked about this gesture afterward, said:
He’s an inspiration for all of us. What he does takes a lot of courage, just a lot of confidence. He’s very special to our sport. He’s a great individual and it’s time we see him like that and not anything else.
For Oscar, he leaves London having fulfilled a lifelong dream and saying:
“It just felt really magical. If I could predict what it would feel like or imagine beyond my wildest dreams, this was probably 10 times that. To step out in front of a crowd this massive, it’s a mind-blowing experience. I’ve had support in the last couple of days like I have never felt before.”
This is truly a story of perseverance on the part of Oscar, and adding Kirani James’ inspirational gesture, a story of great sportsmanship. It shows great love and respect for humankind. One without barriers.
Isn’t that, not only the Olympic Games, but what life is truly about?
Now, if we could put this into practice with work, home and our everyday lives.
Photo Credit: BeaumontEnterprise