Witnessing some of this media coverage over the Olympics has me wanting to defend these Olympians as much as I would want to protect my own children.
The latest critics ripped Lolo Jones for finishing fourth in the 100M hurdles. As a former athlete I find Lolo's accomplishment absolutely remarkable. Is the Gold medal how we define success rather than the injuries and personal challenges Lolo has overcome?
We can learn a lot from these inspiring athletes and their stories. Such as Harper and Wells showing enthusiasm, love for their country, and gratitude for the opportunity to compete and coming home with the Silver and Bronze with such pride. But also true sportsmanship, congratulating the incredible performance by Sally Pearson who broke the Olympic Record. (Our Aussie players will appreciate that shout out!)
As we are watching these amazing athletes and undoubtedly hope for the best, we should congratulate their story of success, no matter the medal or lack there of and more importantly remember to support those who fall short of their dreams. Take a page from Pistorius. That was the most touching post event interview I have seen to date because of his ability to see and articulate what success means.
I am proud to be an American and am watching as closely as anyone with the hopes that the USA wins the most Gold medals. As a coach, I believe in pushing athletes to their full potential and challenging them to be more mentally tough. But as a fan of these Olympians, I believe they have achieved this, thus they are representing our great country. Olympians put themselves out there and sacrifice more than most of us could imagine. Let's not criticize them.
Let's change the culture that only defines success by winning a Gold. What if our media more often researches what is deeper than the clock, the score, and the Gold medal, and sticks to every individuals story of success? Isn't that what we want to hear? The success of an Olympic champion, as defined by the story of their lives.