Hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. It has been an incredible year when it comes to sports. Serena Williams touched that holy grail of sports, when she was named the best sportsperson ( not sportswoman, but person ) of all time last year. And this year she went even further and won her 22nd Grand Slam in Tennis. How awe-inspiring is that!
Portugal registered that stylish mid-year win over France, their first ever win in the Euro Cup. Portugal’s win had extra swag as they did it without their superstar captain Ronaldo who retired hurt and super emotional; and they defeated France in Stade de France in Paris. Amazing, right!
We also saw that amazing and magnificent ( though controversy ridden ) sports spectacle of Olympics, in August this year in Rio, Brazil. There was a lot of cynicism and criticism around the event but there was nothing new in it though. Major sporting events and controversy are almost always interlinked. India faced the same criticism over project completion, safety issues and various other things when New Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2010. The competing athletes are always aware of these hurdles and yet look forward to these events and so do we.
Over the weeks when Olympics was on, we witnessed young athletes, some pros and mostly first timers, demonstrate amazing skills; skills which they had spent a lifetime to perfect. Athletes who worked hard all their lives with that one event in focus; who honed and polished their skill in anticipation of what unfolded in the next few weeks in those newly constructed sports arenas in Rio.
Unknown people, whose names we had never heard competed and won medals in some of the hardest athletic competitions in the world; represented their countries, performed at that level and won, won sweet victories for which they sacrificed simple pleasures of life, and the luxury of doing nothing almost their entire lives. By the time the Olympics ended, they became famous all over the world, and they had worked very very hard to deserve that.
Here in Toronto, we go crazy when the Blue Jays are playing and crazier when they are winning. If you ever watch the game live in the stadium, the energy is so real, palpable that you can almost touch it. That rush of adrenaline when our team wins is what us fans live for. And all that is because we are putting all we have into that one game, the team and the fans both.
A sportsperson’s commitment to their game, their physical investment in their skill, their raw desire to win, and win every time overwhelms me. And motivates me. And warms my heart. And I can’t help but think that this world is going to be our oyster if we try and put that same effort in our work. This world is going to be our oyster if we try and be the Serena Williams and Christiano Ronaldos and Olympians of what we do in our daily lives. What all are we capable of achieving if we commit to our work, and our life like a sportsperson?
XO, the yoga cookie!
PS: For good measure, watch this recitation of Maya Angelou’s “I Rise” by Serena Williams and be inspired. *Goosebumps*