Stories woven through. Remembrance against despair. Let your charm serve you.

Finding meaning in the Olympic games

Are you excited about this years Olympic games?

My six year old is so I am doing my best to embrace it, despite being totally disinterested in most sport (although I might take a peek at the gymnastics).

If you’re feeling the same, why don’t we take a look underneath all the hype. Maybe we’ll find something meaningful to connect to.

The Ancient Olympic Games, rooted in greek myth, were held every four years in the ancient Greek city of Olympia from around 776 BCE.

The tournament produced one overall winner, presenting them with an olive, laurel or palm wreath at the end.

And yes it seems that many of the men ran naked!

I’m finding the connections to the past a little disappointing though not surprisingly very human but I am glad most of the men decided to put their clothes back on!

Do you think that the ideals of the ancient games might have been much simpler than those of today? Well it seems that the priorities of todays games with their, political, monetary, and merchandising concerns are similar, only larger in scale, than those of the Ancient Greek games.

Uncovering the human stories

Shouldn’t an event as big as the Olympic games be a great opportunity for emotional connection, unity and world peace? Does it achieve any of these things?

What if we look at some stories behind the athletes that participate?

Whilst searching for a story or two I found this article at Mashable which provides us with links to some of the athletes to follow on Twitter. The article provides a brief bio on each person and their tweeting style to date. It’s a great way to get first hand insights into the athletes experiences of the games.

The New York Times also provides us with an interesting blog with lots of stories and articles covering the 2012 games.

An amulet of words for an athlete by Ra, July 2012

What does it mean to be an Olympic athlete; among the best in the world in your chosen sport?

There are many outstanding qualities required of an élite athlete but the list below can easily apply to all of us as we attempt to achieve our goals. I think that this is what truly connects us all.

  • Talent– Follow your heart and you will find where your talents lie.
  • Hard work– It’ll be easier if you truly love what you do but that’s not to say there will be days you’ll have to find extra resources to get out of bed.
  • Improvement– Setting measurable personal goals.
  • Struggle– Moving beyond the struggle is learning.
  • Frustration– Two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, three steps back. DOH!!
  • Hardship– What is this one? Sacrifice? I ‘struggle’ with this one personally and loath to witness it for others. Makes us stronger I guess.
  • Success– Might not be gold but could be a personal best.
  • Victory– Oh boy that gold medal is heavy around my neck.
  • Inner work– I like this one because it’s about competing against yourself and not others. It’s also about the psychology of inner peace and importance of preparing the mind to help achieve your goals.
  • Journey– It’ all about the journey and the rich experience along the way.
  • Gold– Gold is best, though does it go well with your complexion?
  • Training– What do the say? ‘Athletes are made daily. Not in a day’
  • Support– Where would we be with all those wondrous people who believe in us?
  • Dreams– Dreams come first, dreams are better than gold.
  • Discipline– Sticking to the daily routine, no matter what. The key here lies in exploring your values. What means most to you?
  • Courage– Being aware of fears and anxieties and doing it anyway.
  • Pushing limits– Mmm another hard one for me to write about. I like to lie down and rest at this point (probably why I’m not an élite athlete).

I hope you’re feeling a little more connected to the whole production.

If so my mission for this week is over.

If not, smile to your loved ones when the inevitable request comes, and say “Yes dear, you can put the tv on, enjoy the race!”, then put your headphones on, grab the dog and walk out the door.

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