Loving the Winter Olympics

I am thoroughly enjoying the Winter Olympics 2018 in PyeongChang (otherwise known as the Jeux Olympiques d’Hiver seeing as I’ve been watching it all in French!). The Olympics have always been a favourite of mine – I love that for 2-3 weeks there’s always something to watch on TV, and I usually discover all these interesting sports which I didn’t know existed. This is even more frequent in the Winter Olympics, because coming from Australia, I haven’t had much exposure to all of these cold-weather sports.

The events in the Winter Olympics are incredible. My favourite is the ice-skating: there is such a beauty and grace to the sport, and some of the routines I have seen are just mind-blowing. I’ve been particularly enjoying the pairs ice-skating, seeing the interaction between the skaters and that they’re able to land all the lifts and flips so perfectly.

Luge, skeleton, skiing, snowboarding – every event I’ve watched has left me open-jawed by the talent and skill of these incredible athletes. Unlike the summer Olympics, the sports on show at PyeongChang have such a high level of risk attached to them that I can barely imagine that anyone would want to try them out. Skeleton for instance: hurtling headfirst along an icy course at over 100km/h?! That’s crazy!

There has been some great competition so far, and I’m very proud every time I see an Australian participating in any event. I’ve also been loving listening to the French commentators get excited whenever a French participant is doing well in an event: I don’t know exactly what they’re saying but I can get behind the enthusiasm!

I think the Olympics are a great motivator for anyone. Sure, most of us will never have the privilege of representing our country at that level of sport, but it’s a time to appreciate the hard work that goes into being the best in the world. For me, I take it as a reminder that all goals take time, dedication and patience. We can look at the elites of any sport and learn something from their stories and love for doing what they do.

But the Games are also a reminder sometimes it doesn’t work out on race-day, no matter how much work you’ve done. For every gold, silver and bronze medal there are plenty of other competitors who didn’t win – but still tried their best. Either they simply weren’t as good as the people who did win, or they just couldn’t perform on the day. It’s very important to recognise that that’s OK, because we face this same challenge no matter what race we’re taking on. So long as we put in the training and try our best, that’s more important that whatever happens on the day itself.

There’s still a week left of the Olympics, and I’ll be watching it every opportunity I get!

Photos by 1-Jung Yeon-je, AFP/Getty Images 2-Cameron Spencer/Getty Images 3-Toby Melville/Reuters

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