The 2016 Olympic Games might be over, but I’ll be inspired by these athletes for a long time to come.
1. Shalane, Desi and Amy
As a member of the running community, I’m not sure I even have to tell you why these three ladies inspire me. But, I will say that beyond their dedication, hard work and talent they seemed to looked for each other at the finish line after the race. Showing support for each other and cheering for those who finish the race both before and after you do, matters.
The lesson: Be a cheerleader for everyone around you.
Again, do I really have to spell this one out? Yesterday’s Olympic marathon reminded us all why we fell in love with him and why we are inspired to be better because of his actions. He had a disappointing outcome in his final Olympic race, but he crossed the finish line with heart and humor.
The lesson: Take yourself seriously, but don’t forget that when things don’t go your way you can still make a positive impression on those around you by how you handle things. It’s easy to handle a victory but hard to handle a disappointment in a way that inspires other people.
3. Abby D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin
Two women helped each other get back up during the 5,000-meter race and the world noticed. Abby and Nikki may have not had the outcome they had hoped but, they showed the world that kindness does prevail.
The lesson: The world could use a lot more kindness and while usually our day-to-day kind acts go unnoticed, all that matters is that small acts of kindness happen. Our simple unplanned gestures can make a difference.
4. Allyson Felix, Tori Bowie, English Gardner and Tianna Bartoletta
The women’s 4×100 meter relay was accidentally nudged by another runner in the lane next to them, causing them to drop the baton, but they still finished the race. After winning a protest, the women were allowed to run the race again all by themselves on an empty track as an attempt to qualify for the finals. They qualified for the final with the fastest time of the day and went on to win the gold medal in the event.
The lesson: Just because things don’t go perfectly the first time around doesn’t mean you should give up. Pull yourself together, do your best and go after the win.