Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where Do Olympic Dreams Begin?

Maybe it was a young boy sliding down a hill with his Dad, that started the dream to become an Olympian in Luge.

For other young people, it's a coach, parent or teacher who sees promise in them and encourages them to dream beyond their small town or city to compete against the world.

It can be a young person like Jennifer Azzi, U.S. Gold medalist in women's basketball, watching the Olympics on television at age 10, determining that one day she would compete in the Olympics. She didn't even know which sport it would be, but she knew she had it in her to Go for the Gold medal.

Whatever drives a young athlete to challenge themselves to the limit, we all admire them. They know there are risks of injuries or even death, in almost every sport. Yet, they train and push themselves beyond what most of us would be willing to do.

What qualities describe an Olympian or a leader in any venue: sports, business, education, research, the arts?

. They dare to dream beyond what others say is possible.

. They study others in their field, find mentors and coaches to take them beyond what they can accomplish on their own. They gather an expert team around them, knowing that more can be accomplished with the input of multiple talents.

. They're at the gym or on the mountain at 4 a.m. and wrap up their day at 10 p.m. or later, taking naps where and when they can, to conserve energy and to keep their minds sharp.

. They pay attention to all aspects of health and what gives them optimal performance.

Of course, there are many more amazing qualities involved for those who stand "on the podium" of their pursuits.

During the Olympics, it's a time to celebrate the efforts of those who come in #67 or #1 Every athlete is to be congratulated for taking on the challenge, and for showing great qualities of sportsmanship and leadership. We're especially proud of the 100 athletes on Team Usana, as they press on to pursue their dreams.

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