20 August 2016
The official Rio Olympics website confirms that 2,102 is the total number of gold, silver and bronze medals that will be awarded to athletes competing in the Olympic Games.
I must confess that my country of birth has not won a single medal yet as at the time of writing this article.
So for the records, I haven’t had the exhilarating feeling of my country winning the Olympic Gold yet, whereas the top 10 athletes in Rio already have 30 Gold medals between them.
Only one country (The United States of America) has more gold medals than that count.
Some of these top athletes seem to have had no competition at the on-going Olympics. The likes of, Michael Phelps (U.S. Swimmer), Ledecky Katie (U.S. Swimmer), Simone Biles (U.S. Gymnast), and veteran athlete Usain Bolt of Jamaica did not just win Gold, they won it over and over again until I started feeling that getting the gold medal in their respective categories was a sort of birth right. Are these guys even human?
At some point, I wonder whether other athletes did prepare (enough) to compete with them in Rio. It doesn’t seem so, right?
Now, talking about competing for Gold (and losing out), I once was in a competition (not the Olympics) where I thought I had a good chance of winning, but came out bruised.
Painful? No. Very painful would be more appropriate. I felt a wide range of emotions at the time, but then the cloud of disgust eventually cleared out, and I learnt a few things I needed for me to bounce back and become a champion.
At this point, I would like to share them to help you move on from your ‘horrible’ miss, whatever they are.
Blame yourself… a little.
Okay, so you are an athlete at the Olympics and the likes of Bolt and Phelps have left you in their wake, the least you feel like doing is blaming yourself for not putting in enough effort into winning. But you know what? I think it is okay to think there was something you could have done better for a better result. Take a little time to ask a few persons for their candid opinion on what you didn’t quite do right, and you are out on the right track to winning eventually.
Don’t Blame Phelps or the Weather
There is something about crying foul that just never sounds right. Crying foul feels good when you miss out on the Gold Medal, but in reality all it does is make you look like a loser even more. While you may allow your fans make the noise, be the first to congratulate the winner or say nothing, except of course you have evidence of misconduct. If your aim is getting back on your feet to win Gold, just focus on WHAT you can do better, rather than how flawed you were or how unfair the weather was.
Take a cue from the Winner
If you must win gold, you must have a little extra oil in your jar. After all, there is nothing wrong with being creative in beating competition, so long it doesn’t break the law.
For instance, when Shaunne Miller of the Bahamas dived across the finish line in the 400m Women’s Final, United States’ Allyson Felix, who for one second thought she came in first, must have wondered what happened. Miller claimed it wasn’t intentional, and you have the right to believe her, but my gut feeling is that she literarily did what she had to do (all that was legally possible) to win. That’s one thing to learn from the winner and add up to what you already know. It always takes a little extra something to win Gold!
Start again, right away!
It is said that winners never quit (except when their ageing bones can no longer carry them back to the Olympics). So chances are that you have another opportunity to return to the drawing board and get better at competing for gold. Why not take it? Get a better coach if you have to; work on your weak points because you need to. But in the end, come back with the readiness to break your own records and go for gold while you still can.
The bottom line is, I want you to win Gold, and it all starts with you getting past blaming yourself to learning what you need to know, doing what you have to do and getting back in the ring until you knock out every opposition there is.
When all has been done and you get the Gold Medal, you may then send me 5 per cent of your winning bonus to thank me for this piece. Would that be too much to ask?
Author: Yemi Sanni Newman
‘Yemi Sanni Newman is a Writer, Public Speaker and Social Entrepreneur who lives in Lagos, Nigeria.