I have watched hours and hours of the Sochi Olympics since it began over a week ago, and so many great stories have emerged. Like others, I was fascinated by what was going on with Bob Costas’s left eye and then both of his eyes. But much more than that, I’ve been captivated by the passion, commitment, effort, and tenacity of all of the Olympians. They embody many of the character traits that we’re working to develop in our kids. I’ve been particularly impressed by:
- The toughness that American figure skater Jeremy Abbott displayed when he continued his program after falling and crashing into the wall.
- The humility that Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio demonstrated when he backed out of a race so that a teammate who he felt was skating better could compete.
- The love with which Canadian mogul skier Alex Bilodeau spoke about his brother, who has cerebral palsy, after he won a gold medal.
- The sportsmanship that cross-country skier Dario Cologna of Switzerland showed after winning the gold medal in the 15k and then waiting for almost 40 minutes to congratulate the last finisher, Peruvian Robert Carcelen, as he completed the race.
I think there are a lot of similarities between Olympians and the staff and students of YES Prep Southwest. We may not wear clothes that are as cool as the Russian ice dancing team’s black swan outfits, but we’re just as focused and motivated. For us, students graduating from college and having great lives is the equivalent of winning a gold medal. It may be a long time before we see the fruits of our labor, and we may never personally witness the success that our students eventually achieve. But there are benchmarks along the way that make our progress apparent. Let’s put forth an Olympic effort this week and encourage our students to do the same.