Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Adversity

adversity. noun. 1, adversity. a stroke of ill fortune; a calamitous event

We all have adversities in our life. Some call it bad luck, others call it fate. But we learn to deal with it, regardless of how wrongly victimized we are. We learn to rise to the occasion, from the occasion.

This triumphant human spirit rejoices in the hearts and minds of all who were touched by the powerful and wrenching story of the Canadian figure skater, Joannie Rochette, whose mother passed away from a heart attack within hours of her arrival in Vancouver, a mere 2-3 days before Joannie would take to the Olympic ice for the 2010 Games.

Joannie maintained her third place ranking throughout her two skates, ultimately winning the Bronze Medal. Adversity fell in her lap, with the potential to cripple her, yet she somehow managed to stand, and stand tall she did, isolating her mental pain and anguish into bittersweet gratification. I can only imagine how deep and reflective she had to be, intentional or not, in order to pull those performances out of her.

Now, I'm not trying to over-dramatize. Although I used to be a huge figure skating fan at one point in my life (remember: Battle of the Brians, Kerrigan vs Harding, Midori Ito, the Jumping Bean?), I no longer follow the sport but an appreciation has remained for the hard work involved. But even then, my interest has waned. No, I'm way more interested in the human interest stories around these athletes, these Olympic athletes, specifically. They fascinate me with both their physical ability and their mental tenacity.

Take Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic, who caught some ice and fell into a three-metre deep ravine while on a training run, broke four ribs (some reports say five), punctured a lung, and still managed to qualify, then make quarter-finals, then semi-finals and go on to win a Bronze medal.

How's that for conquering adversity?

So, now, I keep in mind: when kicked to the ground, there is always a way to get back on your feet just need to dig deep within yourself to find out how.

I Believe.


  1. Hello,
    I bumped into your blog by (lucky) chance and was moved for what you wrote in this entry...I'm going through hard times and reading your words really touched my heart..Keep on writing ...Greetings from Spain.

  2. Thank you, Ana, for your kind words. I have not written much on this blog since your kind comments, much to my chagrin, but will continue when Life provides time. :)

    I hope you find the will within yourself to handle whatever comes your way. For it's not who who we meet (or the words of others we read) that will reverse our fortune: it is within. Find it, and harness it, and the world is yours to enjoy.

    Happiness always...