Olympics…the chance for athletes to do what you do

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eric L. Mixon
  • First Sergeant, 747th Communications Squadron
Well it's getting to be that time of year, which only occurs every four years, where I witness some of the greatest competition the world has to offer...that's right, the Olympics. As I have been watching the Olympic trials for the past couple of weeks I couldn't help but to reflect back on some of the greatest Olympic moments I could remember. Performances from Michael Johnson, Mary Lou Retton, Kerri Strung, Carl Lewis, the Dream Team, Flo-Jo, Rulon Gardner and Derek Redmond, just to name a few.

I remember watching them as they competed and their reactions afterwards, win or lose. But not just reactions, pure emotion, passion, made manifest by tears of joy or sadness, collapsing in elation or anguish, embracing the American flag and running around the stadium waving the red, white and blue or clutching onto it in defeat, as if to say, "I am sorry, I failed you."

So why? What would elicit such an emotional response? This is the question I was contemplating during my reflection, when the answer hit me...and here it is: For 19.30 seconds they get to do, what you do everyday... they get to represent their country! For one minute 42 seconds they are able to feel what you are able to feel everyday...pride, because they symbolize what is great about their country. For three minutes 32 seconds, they feel the weight, the responsibility, of being the few to represent the many...a weight and responsibility you bear daily.

So as you watch this year's Olympic Games, take note of the excitement you see in the athlete's faces, watch them as they walk proudly in during the opening ceremony, watch them as they put every ounce of effort in their being to achieve gold and represent their country to the best of their ability. And while you watch, remind yourself, "I do that every day," and ask yourself, "How have I done? Have I given a gold, silver, or bronze medal effort?"