The Olympics: What It Means to Be Better Than Your Best
I recently returned from Rio, where I competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics. What an amazing experience it was, and one that I am so grateful to be part of. This was my fifth time competing at the Olympics and each time it is such an incredible honor to represent the United States.
Just being part of Team USA is already a dream come true – and then, I also had the incredible honor of standing on the podium to receive my fifth Olympic medal. The entire experience was beyond my dreams – which is exactly the purpose of the Olympics, which are meant to be about dreams fulfilled and being better than your best.
An Example of the True Olympic Spirit
Being “better than your best” can sometimes have surprising meanings. In fact, this year, a decision to stop competing made some very inspiring headlines.
US runner Abbey D'Agostino showed true Olympic spirit during the second semifinal heat of the women's 5,000-meter race, when she chose to stop racing to help a competitor who had fallen.
New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin fell, and D'Agostino tripped over her, falling herself. The predictable thing would have been for D’Agostino to get up and keep running, speeding past her fallen competitor. But D'Agostino did something different. She stopped. In a sport which is literally a race to the finish, where speed is everything, D’Agostino, who had trained countless hours to achieve the privilege of racing on this Olympic track, she stopped to help her rival.
After helping Hamblin to her feet, the two continued on the race, but D’Agostino soon discovered she’d injured her ankle in the fall. Hamblin stayed with D’Agostino to help her. D’Agostino didn’t give up, and made it all the way to the finish line before being taken away in a wheelchair.
Being Better Than Your Best
The outcome? Olympic officials decided that both women would advance to the finals, commentators remarked how the scenario epitomized the Olympic spirit, and the inspiring story made headlines.
Being better than your best of course applies to the drive to win, but it can also mean different things. In this case, being better than your best can mean making a decision to stop to help a person in need. For EleVen, being better than your best means going beyond your limits to achieve your own personal “gold,” whatever that might be. NEVER forget to ALWAYS be better than a ten; be an EleVen!
be Better Than a Ten, Be An EleVen!'