Olympic Heroes – All our athletes have done us proud
During these Olympic Games we sent the Aussie Olympic Team over 15, 000 HeroMessages™ both via SMS and through the Facebook App. We watched the ‘Down Under’ ad on YouTube nearly 150,000 times (and who knows how many times on TV). We watched countless hours of both Channel 9’s and Foxtel’s Olympics coverage… and we’ve still got the Paralympics to go.
When Britain’s Sarah Stevenson stood in the centre of the stadium at the Opening Ceremony and took the Olympic Oath, she promised on behalf of all Olympians to take part in the London Olympic Games “in the true spirit of sportsmanship”. While many spectators may not have noticed it, there have been some truly incredible displays of this Olympic spirit.
When China’s Liu Xiang’s fell and injured himself in the 110m hurdles it was his competitors – his rivals – who wrapped a friendly arm around him and helped him off the track after the race. It was equally inspiring to see American Manteo Mitchell finish his leg of the 4x400m heat despite feeling his leg break in the first 100m of the race. When he felt it snap he didn’t stop, but instead he sprinted the last 200m on a broken leg to set up his teammates to win the heat and qualify for the semi-finals.
The spirit and determination of these athletes is unbelievable. There are Islamic athletes who are competing while fasting for Ramadan (despite being given a travellers exemption) and competitors who are changing history.
South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius is the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics and made it all the way to the 400m semi-final on blades. Sarah Attar received a standing ovation for her 800m heat as she became the first female Saudi Arabian track athlete to compete in the Olympics. It didn’t matter that she came in 45 seconds after the winner; it was what she represented that counted.
While the stats will say that Ireland’s Katie Taylor won gold in the boxing, it’s the struggle that she had to go through to get women’s boxing included on the Olympic bill that should be remembered.
All our athletes at the games have done us proud. From Kim Crow’s enormous effort to row in six races to Lauren Mitchell’s incredible courage in competing while injured in both team and individual gymnastics events; it’s obvious that our athletes have given it their all. Even though he didn’t come home with the gold, teenager Steve Solomon set a new personal best in the 400m heat and then broke that again in the semi-finals – what a moment to set a PB.
While it is wonderful to watch when the Aussies do well it is equally inspiring to see how far true sportsmanship can go.
I guess there are many different types of heroes. Who is your Olympic Hero?
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Telstra.