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london olympics 2012
bronze medals
distant memory
role models
The Importance Of Recognising And Acknowledging Success
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The Importance Of Recognising And Acknowledging Success

Well the London Olympics 2012 is now closed, the Olympic flame has been handed to Rio in anticipation of the next games in 2016 and athletes, members of the IOC and sorted members of the press are all returning home. Most people will acknowledge that the London games was a success on a grand scale. It will long live in the memories of the organisers, officials, volunteers, workers, members of the armed forces, the people who took part, those that witnessed it first hand and the millions who watched it from the comfort of their own home.

The initial problems of a lack of GS4 security staff and some empty stadium seats on the first couple of days now seem like a distant memory. Everyone is now focusing on the games legacy, recognising and acknowledging success breeds success, and now is the time to ensure that people of all ages take up opportunities to participate and enjoy a range of sports.

Areas of the press have been quick to say how great it is that young people now have some new role models in the Olympic medallists rather than the normal range of ‘celebrities’ from reality tv, who have done little to gain their so called fame. How long this new interest will endure remains to be seen but it’s certainly interesting to have witnessed the shift over the past fortnight. Let’s hope it lasts.

However, if it is to last there is another area in which there needs to be a fundamental shift and that’s in the way people think about success. If there was one sour note in the BBC’s coverage of the athletes success it was that they were triumphant whenever a member of Team GB won gold but were quite dismissive of athletes who won silver or bronze or who made it to the finals.

This was particularly noticeable when swimmer Rebecca Addlington achieved two bronze medals in the 800 and 1500 metres. These were to add to the two golds that she had won in Bejing and it makes her the most successful Olympian swimmer in British history. You’d never think so. I don’t know how many times I heard commentators saying she ‘only managed bronze’. This tendency to underplay success is not only extremely unfair it also undermines people’s self confidence and self esteem. And it won’t make other people want to follow in Addlington’s footsteps if in some ways she appears as a failure.

The same issue arose from the Australian team who were stung by criticism (mainly from their own press) that they hadn’t reached the target of medals that had been set for them. They complained that not enough praise was being given to those that had achieved medals or taken part. I think they had a right to feel aggrieved. After all how many people can say that they have represented their country at the Olympics?

Recognising and acknowledging success of any type is important whatever the context. So if you have a tendency to underplay your success – don’t. Recognise it, acknowledge it and celebrate it.

You can read more about the secrets of success at my coaching blog.


Street Talk

You know what they say in Nascar, second place is just t he first loser. What a narrow point of view in my eyes. great read Beverley

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks Shawn. I am all for people making the effort to do the best, but we certainly devalue people's achievements if it's only first place that matters.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

As many sport teams from a young age are taught that winning is everything and losing is not an option....how does that make sense there is always a loser (or tie)...to be second or third or getting close or jsut doing your best it should all be reconized...be kind to your self and reconize your accomplishments because there are far to many to put you down for not achieving the gold....nice article Beverley...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks Tim. I'm all for people striving to do their best, but I think it's sad when people fail to recognise their achievements just because they didn't win.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Couldn't agree more. The effort put in at any sport at this level is amazing and it all comes down to play on the day. I feel for the silver and bronze medal winners because you are right they don't get a mention sometimes. Some like Tom Daley however showed how wonderfull he felt getting "just the bronze" and that made it for me. Regards Keith

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks Keith. Like you I found Tom Daley's joy at his achievements inspiring and it was a delight to witness.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very true, we should celebrate our own as well as others successes. What a different world we could live in if everyone practiced this on a regular bases.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thans Jackelyn for taking the time to comment. A different world indeed!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Linda14  

I think it's too bad that silver and bronze weren't acknowledged in GB, it takes a lot of work to even get into the Olympics.Canada acknowledges all their athletes, no matter what they won. No triumph is too small to not be recognized, no matter what it is.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I agree with you Linda. Although their attitude changed over time the damage had already been done. You're right - all triumphs should be recognised.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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