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An avid sports fan, while watching this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, I wonder what it really takes to compete at the extreme levels that professional athletes have to compete whether playing an entire football season or preparing to compete for the gold in the Olympics. I have come to the conclusion that these athletes when battling against their own human frailties – fatigue, extreme pain from over excursion and/or injury, nervous energy – must reach deep inside themselves in order to find the strength necessary to go against the odds. The ability to compete against the odds is a testament to the enduring human spirit. Perseverance, determination, drive, grit … all of the characteristics that I believe are essential to the learning process are also essential when doing things that test our ability … going beyond what we sometimes think we are able to do.
As a child, Wilma Rudolph was a hero of mine but more importantly she always represented the enduring human spirit. Ms. Rudolph overcame tremendously painful physical challenges to become the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics during the 1960 Summer Games in Rome. Her ability to overcome physical and societal barriers is truly a tribute to the enduring human spirit. tlb
“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” – Wilma Rudolph