Who watched the Opening Ceremonies last night? Oh my word. I know it was a bit quirky (which is why I loved it so much) so it might not have been everyone’s cup of tea — but the lighting of the Olympic flame took my breath away. It also might have caused a minor rainstorm on my face, but we’ve covered my propensity to cry at such things previously!
Every two years the Olympics rolls around and for two weeks I am on cloud nine. Really, it’s true! There is something about the coming together of hundreds of nations for a common event — largely without any negativity — that moves me in ways I’m ill-equipped to express. While I know not everyone is as dedicated as I am to the Olympics, I know that we all very likely have one (or two or five) Olympic moments that stand out in our minds and truly touch us!
For me, this is it.
I was ten years old during the 1996 games, and believe it or not, I had Olympic aspirations of my own. I was a competitive swimmer, and the early morning workouts in the pool often had me day-dreaming about my own gold medal moment during those tedious laps. I didn’t have the “swimmer body” and I had an ankle injury that plagued me (and even still does), but I had the heart.
I watched the Magnificent Seven in complete awe of their grace and composure. In many ways, they were the first peer role models that I had. They represented the best of us, and Kerri Strug did so especially. I’ll never forget how my heart sank when she injured herself on vault, and then the rapid beat of my heart as she did another one — only to land on one foot and secure the gold.
That moment has always stuck with me, and honestly, when I feel like I’m “down for the count” in any aspect of my life, the image of Kerri sticking that landing against all odds pops into my head. I definitely thought of it as I was limping along mile 12 of my half-marathon, wondering if I could possibly make it another mile and a tenth to the finish — and finish I did!
I plan on sharing this and other inspiring Olympic moments with my students, as they are powerful real-world reminders of what happens when you believe in yourself and your ability to succeed and never, ever give up!
With the London Olympics upon us, I thought it would be awesome to reflect on our favorite Olympic moments! Grab the button below and link up! I look forward to reading (and hopefully seeing) your favorite Olympic moments!