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different ways
double amputee
2012 olympics
michael phelps
sheer determination
new ground
Different Ways Someone Can Inspire You
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Different Ways Someone Can Inspire You

Have you ever thought about the different ways someone can inspire you? I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration particularly with the London Olympics having just finished. One of the well publicised reasons for the UK winning the race to host the 2012 Olympics was their focus on legacy and their spoken mantra to ‘ inspire a generation ‘.

Throughout the games there were certainly many examples of inspirational athletes from all over the world. Medal winning performances that particularly stood out for me were Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the cycling time trial a week after his historic triumph in the Tour De France. The great Michael Phelps bowing out of his Olympic career with 22 medals, a record that it’s hard to believe anyone will ever beat. There was the self effacing David Lekuta Radisha winning the 800 metres in a world record time and who can ignore the stunning performance of Usain Bolt who becomes the first man in history to successfully defend both the 100 and 200 metre titles. Everyone who watched the games will have their own particular favourites.

However although I found the sporting triumphs delightful to watch and inspiring I have to admit that I enjoyed watching all those sports from the comfort of my home and it certainly won’t inspire me to take up more sport than I currently manage. For me, it wasn’t the sporting prowess that I witnessed that I found the most inspiration from.

There was Oscar Pistorius, the man known as the ‘blade runner’ who was the first double amputee to run at the Olympics. Never mind the sniping about whether he should have been there or not,. He is an inspiration to the able-bodied and those with disabilities for his sheer determination to overcome a range of barriers.

Other athletes who fought against barriers of a different kind to appear at the Olympics also broke new ground were 16 year old Wojdan Shaherkani and 19 year old Sarah Attar. Shaherkani a judo competitor became the first woman to compete at the Olympics from Saudi Arabi. She wore a head covering to conform with her governments request which had originally been turned down by the Olympic committee for safety reasons. Attar who holds dual Saudi and American citizenship became the second woman to represent her country running in the 800 metres in sporting attire that only showed her face and her finger tips. Both women have had to endure some vicious criticism on Twitter.

There was the Joanna Roswell who stood proudly with her team mates Dani King and Lisa Trott on the winners rostrum in the cycling velodrom, showing off her gold medal and displaying her bald head. Roswell has suffered from aloplecia since she was 11 and has talked about how she overcame her low self esteem and isolation issues to gain success in cycling and to be defined for something else other than her lack of hair.

There was Manteo Mitchell who showed the most amazing team spirit when he continued running on a broken leg during the first heat of the 4x400 metre relay because he didn’t want to let his team down and stop them from getting into the next round. His determination and team spirit are truly inspirational.

And I couldn’t finish this article without a mention of the 70,000 volunteers who helped to make the games such a success by undertaking their duties with such cheerfulness and enthusiasm (even when dressed in unattractive uniforms and waving huge pink hands to direct visitors.

Yes I found the sport inspiring but it is actually these other stories that I’ve mention which will inspire me to make some changes in my own life. I have already laminated a couple of pictures of Oscar Pistorius and put them next to my coat and dog lead to remind myself to stop moaning when I have to overcome a chronic back condition each day to take the dog for walk.

I do a lot of training in equality and diversity and so I shall be incorporating his example and that of Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar into my training.

I have already started working on a new task to use with individual coaching clients taking inspiration from Joanna Roswell about how people choose to define themselves and how self esteem and confidence can grow from finding success. I shall use Manteo Mitchell as the inspiration for a new group coaching task about team work.

And lastly I realised that I have some spare time and have decided that I’m going to do some volunteering. It's not going to be sport but I've decided to volunteer as a patient advocate at my local hospital if they'll have me.

You see, I really have been inspired in many different ways in the past fortnight. However, being inspired is one thing, but it will be meaningless unless I take action. Well I've made a start.

Now have you thought in which ways someone can inspire you?


Street Talk

We sat glued to the TV for the Olympics and there were just so many inspirational happenings it was terrific. Can't wait to see the paralympics where I am sure this will be repeated big time, Regards Keith

Reply
  about 8 years ago

You are right,we don't have to look far for inspiration especially on the heels of the Olympics. We all benefit from the fleeting, feel good moments of success we share as our favorite athlete's are recognized for all of their hard work and dedication. I think the true gift is the gift of encouragement .When all is said and done we are left with the knowledge that if someone else can accomplish their goals through hard work and dedication then we can do the same. Thanks for the article Beverly. You are always an inspiration.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Jackelyn - that's kind of you to say so. You are so right - encouragement makes all the difference to people. I've seen too many people crushed because of the lack of encouragement.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Nice article BIS, I really enjoyed the games. Switching in every evening to catch up on the days events. You have already mentioned so many great moments and people but I would also like to mention Lisa Trott who overcame childhood disabilities to take up cycling and go on to win gold. She tries that hard she vomits after a race, now that's dedication. It has also been estimated that 50,000+ people in the UK have taken up cycling since Bradley Wiggins won the Tour De France. Now that is totally awesome. It has inspired me to help as many people as I can.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
  

Thanks Mark - yes I agree with you Lisa Trott is absolutely amazing. She still struggles with asthma and other complaints. I expect her to achieve even greater heights in the future.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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