Every time the Olympics comes around, I am reminded of the joy and excitement I felt as teenager (well, actually, I was 12 going on 13) watching the 1988 Olympics held in Seoul, Korea. I was particularly mesmerized by Florence Griffith-Joyner, also known as Flo Jo, and her flashy style (I so wanted to design my own one-legged track suit). At the time, I was just starting to run track myself so Flo Jo, Jackie Joyner Kersee and Carl Lewis were my athletic idols.
With this year’s Olympics on the horizon, there is the typical media focus on the athletes that will be competing (Go Team USA!), but I am really enjoying some of the interviews I’ve seen with former Olympians. Oprah sat down with ten of them on her Oprah’s Next Chapter show this past Sunday. I was instantly transported back to the summer of 1988 when I first felt the magic of the Olympics.
As each Olympic legend shared their experiences and their words of wisdom, I noticed some common themes – excellence, focus, determination. My all-time favorite quote from all of the interviews came from Carl Lewis when he said “I was competing against perfection”. He and Oprah agreed that “Excellence Matters”. I couldn’t agree more.
How’s that for some mid-week motivation!?!