A New Set of Role ModelsAugust 16, 2008 at 10:03 am | Posted in In the News, Life, Thoughts | 14 Comments
Tags: Entertainment, Nastia, Olympics, Shawn, Women's Gymnastics
The Summer Olympics are my favorite. I love the fact that every four years the world, for the most part, seems to stop, watch, and realize that our planet is full of amazing and talented people who may not look like us, worship like us, or live like us, but all in all we come to realize that we are all just people living on a rock.
I love the unity that it brings, the exposure to other cultures that it gives us, and the heroes it produces for us to admire.
One of my favorite stories so far from this games comes from the example of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. Comeptitors, teammates, and roommates, they hold many roles to each other.
In the midst of the most heated athletic competition known to our world, these two women have competed against each other and won the women’s highest honors, all the while remaining friends and supporters of each other. They exemplify class and respect each time they speak about their relationship. They went into the competition as individuals, yet they committed to supporting each other as teammates. They said from the beginning that they wanted to go 1-2 in the Women’s All-Around. And they did. But they both understood that one would be first and one would be second. But in the midst of it all they remained each others biggest supporter.
How phenomenal is that? They chose to use each others talents and strengths as catapults to drive harder and push themselves at their own training and aspirations, instead of tearing each other down and competing negatively which would have lead them to ruin.
While they were both each other’s main competition, they remained friends and teammates first, refusing to hinder each other’s goal.
What an amazing example this is to women everywhere.
I have been the first-hand recipient of some less-than-nice women all of my life. Instead of seeing me as a teammate or a friend, they chose to lash out in fear of their own territory and in the end it caused great strife and rifts in the attaining of our common goal. I have left jobs because of it, lost friends over it, and refused to participate in organizations because of the drama that some women bring upon their own. Women everywhere, take notice. These two young women have it all figured out.
Life up your teammate, even in times of competition. Support their process, even at the cost of your own gain. Celebrate their success, even in the midst of your own set-backs. It’s really not that difficult.
And that is why those two young women make me proud. A few medals gold and silver medals are just to boot.