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The Olympics so far: what can we learn from the ups and downs?

Posted by
12 Aug 2016
I, like most have been completely engrossed in the Olympic Games in Rio. Going from not really watching sport on a regular basis, to hurrying home and getting the TV on, and not quite getting enough sleep from watching the swimming.

The last week has seen gymnastics, swimming, shooting, canoeing, diving to name but a few – and has seen ups and downs go along with it.

Some devastating moments that spring to mind are:

  • Louis Smith coming off the Pommel Horse at a crucial time in the team all-around competition.
  • James Guy not securing a medal in the 200m freestyle final.
  • Annemiek van Vleuten who had a terrible crash on the descent in the road race.

There have been a lot more, as well as some real triumphs such as:
  • Team GB’s first ever gold medal in diving.
  • Team GB’s first medal in individual men’s gymnastics in 108 years.
  • Fiji winning their first ever medal in the men’s rugby sevens.

You could go on for ages with a list of triumphs and disasters but having seen some of both, it has made me think about what we can learn from these events?

What has impressed me the most is the athletes ability to carry on when things don’t quite go to plan! The gymnastics is a brilliant example of this; I was amazed that every single athlete that fell off of their apparatus didn’t just give up, they took a deep breath, picked their head up, and finished their routine. Knowing that you have most likely squandered your chances of advancing, or even medalling must be heart-breaking, however having the ability to carry on is impressive.

The athletes ability to cope well under immense pressure is remarkable. With a lot of the gymnasts, the medals have been decided in the last event, with such a minimal amount between them that any slip up is costly. Max Whitlock managed to hold his nerve and secure the bronze which was just brilliant. The diving is another example of this – having to watch round by round as the Chinese and American’s produce exceptional dives. Not letting this occasion get the better of you, and as Tom Daley and Dan Goodfellow did – and secured the bronze!

Lastly, it is really inspiring! The stories you hear of the journeys and obstacles some of the athletes have overcome is outstanding. From the first ever refugee team who have all been through challenging times, to Chris Mears (gold medallist GB diver), who came close to death a few years. He was suffering from undiagnosed glandular fever which paired with diving, caused his spleen to rupture, caused him seizures, and at one point, he was given a 5% survival chance – 7 years later and he is part of a team that has won GBs first ever gold medal in diving.

If you haven’t watched any yet, I would really encourage you to give it a try! You never know what you might pick up from it, and there is tonnes more to watch over the coming week or so!

Sellick Partnership have a number of highly successful sporting events, read more about them on our 'sports in the community' page. Sports in the community
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