The Olympics is one of the most prestigious sporting spectacles of the world. An Olympic medal is the epitome of sporting achievement. Over the decades, many sportspersons have gone on to become legends in Olympic history. Rio 2016 is no different. In this blog, I pick and elaborate on 5 of the most inspiring leadership anecdotes from the Rio Olympics 2016.
Dipa Karmarkar – Persistence makes up for all shortcomings
When Dipa Karmakar competed in her first gymnastics competition, she did so without shoes and borrowed an oversized, ill-fitting costume (Source: BBC Sports).
In a country that breathes and lives cricket, pursuing gymnastics as a sport is a tough ask. There is a serious lack of infrastructure, resources and financial support for the sport. These factors didn’t deter Dipa from pursuing her passion. One of the few to pull off the dangerous Produnova maneuver with such ease at Rio Olympics 2016, Dipa is a true champion and has won the admiration and respect of millions all over the world.
Usain Bolt – Have fun while you are at it
Usain Bolt is probably one of the most popular and respected athletes in the world today. He continues to make and break records, that too with a seemingly ridiculous ease and a smile to go with it. The recent picture of him sneaking in a smile for the cameras while sprinting towards the finish line has broken the internet. While his fellow competitors were gasping for breath, he eased past them, that too after a slow start. He has added style, glamor, and fun to the sport, without compromising on the discipline and rigor. Here is a joke that sums it up 🙂
Q: What does Usain Bolt do when he misses the bus?
A: He waits at the next stop
Michael Phelps – Let your failures be lessons, not roadblocks
In 2009, decorated US swimmer and Olympian was snapped smoking pot. Overnight he turned from a respected athlete to a disgrace, losing millions in endorsements and being slapped with a 3-month suspension. For most people, such public humiliation would mean a full stop. Not for Phelps. At age 30, he came of out retirement, picked up the pieces and put his energies on regaining lost glory, the only way he knew. Getting back to the pool and winning medals. With 4 gold medals and one silver, he is now the most decorated Olympian of all time with a tally of 23 medals.
Simone Biles – Excellence by design, not by chance
Simone Biles, touted to be one of the greatest gymnasts, comes from a family with a troubled history; a drug addict mother and an absent father. She has proved by action, that there are no excuses for not trying. It’s about making choices and then ensuring that the actions match the aspirations.
Yusra Mardini – The sky has no limit, only the mind does
I saved the best for the last! Yusra Mardini, a refugee from war-torn Syria, has captured the attention of millions and has become a source of inspiration for one and all. As part of the 10 member refugee team at Rio Olympics, she made a huge impact by scoring a win in her first Olympic swimming race. There was a time when she used her swimming skills to save herself and 18 others from a capsized boat heading towards Greece. From that to being part of an Olympics team, talks so much about putting your struggles to use, use them as motivation and achieve the impossible.
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