There is definitely something special about the Olympics. It evokes national pride and as an athlete it is really a time to showcase sport and the process of competition. In many ways the Olympics exposes the core of sport. Mind, body, heart are all tested and put on display on the biggest stage.
After a three-game losing streak with the Wings, the Olympics have been somewhat of a distraction and a reminder of why I love sport and why sport is so important. It has reminded me to take pride in the "struggle." Struggling in sport often means that you are learning and growing. If you are going to be successful a part you must enjoy the struggle. I think if you ask any athlete competing in the Olympics, they would appreciate the journey as much as the destination.
I have a great deal of appreciation that these athletes train four years, or a lifetime in some cases, and their competition can last mere seconds. I find watching the Olympics to be a mix between excitement and nervousness. There is so much on the line for these athletes that you can't help but want to see them find success, regardless of their nationality. As an athlete, you can relate to the thoughts and emotions that you see on display at the Olympics. I find the athletes that are successful are able to channel their emotions in a positive way, trust their preparation, and just allow their performance to come through with a clear mind. It is tough to describe, but you can almost identify exactly when an athlete in is that "zone." I think that is what all athletes strive for including lacrosse players.
When comparing our team to the events of the Olympics, perhaps the biggest difference is in the Olympics where the end is so abrupt. In our season it is a longer process. There are many ups and downs. In the down stretches of the season you have more time to question things. It is easy to start to doubt yourself and live under a cloud of negativity. Olympics have reenergized me in a sense.