I love the Olympics for several reasons, but what interests me the most about the games is the athletes. Many of them dream of breaking the existing Olympic record. At every Olympic Game, records are broken and new ones are set. In the 2012 London Olympic Games for instance, as many as 66 Olympic records and 30 world records were broken.
Any time I watch the Olympics, I come to one conclusion – there will always be someone better. No matter how far we push the bar; another will come around and push it even further. Many of us do not hold Olympic records awaiting someone’s breaking, but within our own sphere of influence we may be record holders; we may be the employee of the year for 4 years running or the best poker player in town or the prettiest girl in our school.
When we are at the top, we may feel invincible; we can hardly conceive the idea that another may come and dethrone us. Then, one day, without our least expectation, someone comes along and shatters our cherished record.
It is at this point where our true character as a champion is put to the test; do we accept defeat gracefully? Do we embrace the fact that we may have grown older, and as such, a younger person can now do better? Do we share what we know with this person to make him or her even better?
I did not see much of Ian Wright’s time at Arsenal but for years his record stood as the club’s top scorer; and yet on the day that Thierry Henry broke his record, Ian was there cheering him on. For me that was the mark of a true champion, one who willingly welcomes the arrival of the new king and encourages him to push the bar beyond what he did.
So if you are the king today, remember that no matter what you do, there always will come along someone better.
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