“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle
Over the more than 8 years I’ve been blogging here, I’ve watched 5 Olympics. In my lifetime, I’ve watched–transfixed–many Olympics. I love them.
The Excellence the Olympics Inspire
Now, I have 3 teenage athletes in my house, competing toward their personal goals and the goals of their teams. I see the importance of athletics more clearly. Athletics enable us to work toward something larger, toward personal excellence. Athletics teach discipline, and train the athlete to work with purpose. The challenge gives us passion. And working as a team toward a common goal teaches unity and connectivity. Sports help athletes around the world to excel, both for the short term and in the long term, in their lives. The Olympics inspire excellence.
Even now, nightly, I feel inspired by the stories unfolding on television, by the effort and the victories, by the belief and confidence, by the dreams.
Sports around the World
Four years ago for the summer Olympics, my boys and I watched the games on Czech National television. Their coverage differs greatly from what we see in the United States. Our viewing in Europe consisted of rowing, weight lifting, fencing. We missed the events we enjoy nightly now here in the US — swimming, gymnastics, basketball, and soon, track and field.
Until this week, I didn’t realize the vast difference between the two viewing experiences. The hype and thrill of watching the big events, the excitement, is something we talk about at work, with friends, and look forward to watching nightly with family.
There is something about banding together as a nation competing against other nations in athletics. There is something about the excellence … something about national pride and cheering as one for our teams. Don’t you love it, too?
After swimming, I’m looking forward to watching Track and Field, and to hopefully seeing some synchronized swimming. What events are you enjoying? Which events are your favorites? Please share in the comments, and Go team USA!