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Olympic Spirit

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It is easy to see why so many people are fans of Michael Phelps. We humans have this obsession with the idea of victory and he, quite simply, is the epitome of triumph. The triumph of motion as he thrusts through water with the power of a torpedo, the triumph of one man against his rivals as they try in vain to catch up, and the triumph of the possible over the impossible as he breaks one record after another. The memory of his amazing gold-medal swim in the 2008 Beijing Olympics would have been no doubt etched into the retinas of millions of people worldwide. To many, he is the ultimate Olympic hero. To me, however, an Olympic hero takes its shape in the form of last-place finishers as much as it does in gold medal winners. A true hero is not the athlete that runs the fastest, jumps the highest, plays the best, but one that stays true to the ethos of the Olympics; one that possesses the Olympic spirit. The Olympic spirit is about a different sort of triumph; not about the triumph of motion, strength or grace, but about the triumph of the human spirit. ...read more.


He finally hit the wall, sending the crowd into a delirium of ecstasy. The mad cheering and stomping by the crowd all but lifted the roof off the stadium. His time of one minute and fifty-two seconds was a minute slower than all his competitors. It was even slower than what some swimmers took to swim 200 metres. But did all that matter? Eric had given an honest effort and done his very best. Most of all, he dared to compete despite knowing that he had no chance of winning. He had put up an incredible display of the Olympic spirit. Another athlete who showed this incredible spirit was Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar, the sole female marathoner who represented Mongolia in the 2004 Olympics. It was a scorching 35 degrees Celsius during the race, and many top athletes (including record holder Paula Radcliffe) had abandoned the race or simply given up. But not Otgonbayar, for she simply insisted on carrying on despite the searing heat and brutal hills of the course. By 10 p.m., the race wasn't a race at all. In fact, the organizers were already preparing the stadium for the closing ceremony when she trotted into the stadium at an infinitesimal pace. ...read more.


At the heart of these all this is the Olympic spirit; for only true Olympic spirit can inspire tales of passion, courage and dignity. Sport can be painful, and the Olympics is the ultimate theatre of suffering, physically and emotionally.Without suffering there would be so such thing as the Olympics. Nevertheless, we should be thankful about the agony and hardship that Olympics can bring, for it is only in this struggle that sport can reveal an athlete's true colours. After all, the Olympics is not merely an examination of how good you are at running, jumping or swimming. The Olympics Games are a test of character and sheer will, in the last strides of the mile race when your oxygen debt feels unrepayable, in that moment where your body starts to rebel against your mind during the uphill finish of a marathon, in that instant when ball meets boot in the last kick of the football game. Whether you are a gold medallist, or a failed qualifier, it is this knowledge that you laid down everything you had during these fleeting moments that make your own Olympic tale something so perfect, tragic, and heroic. When all is said and done, it is the tales that will stay in our hearts when everything else is long forgotten. TwitThis ...read more.

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