Pyeongchang: Thank You from Beyond the Podium

March 16, 2018

 

 

Holy smokes! How amazing was it to watch those Olympic athletes ski, sled, skate, curl, flip and fly?! It is so exciting to see who wins each event, but with all they have committed in years and years of dedication and sacrifice culminating into that one BIG performance, a huge majority of them don’t medal.

 

Every four years it bothers me that there has never been a medal, or accolades for 4th, 5th or even 25th place. Think about it; if there wasn’t a 4th, 5th or 25th place there wouldn’t be a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place; each of them having pushed the other towards excellence, and each of them deserving of recognition for their determination and effort.

 

Besides crying every single time they played our National Anthem, I paid particular attention as participants thanked their spouses, kids, parents and coaches. We are only as good as the people that surround us and support us. Saying thank you is very powerful.

 

I know from my own experience how much having a “personal team” behind you supports your dreams. I trained for the ‘84 Olympics in downhill ski racing. Lyndsey Vonn wasn’t even born yet, but her dad was one of my coaches. (Don’t bother doing the age calculation, we know how much older I am!). As I was always so thankful to my parents for everything, about 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to publicly thank my parents in front of 400 people. They weren’t expecting it and it changed me.

 

You don’t have to be an Olympic Athlete to be grateful and express appreciation to those who do not get any medals but are happy to help you along the way.

 

So, here is your ‘gold medal’ challenge: Say thank you to someone each day for the rest of the month of March - a co-worker, family member, coach, store clerk, or the garbage man that religiously takes away your @@!:(* items.

 

I will start us off:

 

THANK YOU to my high school math analysis teacher Mr. Anderson. If you hadn’t offered to stay after school endlessly to make sure I was caught up after missing months from training and competing, I wouldn’t have had that amazing opportunity.

~Kaari

 

 

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