Last month athletes from around the world competed in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. They “wowed” us with their physical strength, speed, perseverance and confidence. They also taught us some valuable lessons that we can apply to everyday life:
Age doesn’t limit success – At age 13, Japanese skateboarder Momiji Nishiya won the first ever Olympic gold medal in the women’s street competition. Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, who is also 13 years old, won the silver; while Japan’s Funa Nakayama, 16, won the bronze. On the other end of the spectrum, Australia’s Andrew Hoy, 62, became his nation’s oldest Olympic medal winner with a silver in equestrian individual eventing and bronze in team eventing.
Mental health matters – Superstar gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from several events after becoming disoriented while competing on the vault. She realized her mind and body were not in sync and bravely decided to prioritize her mental health. On the final day of competition, Simone returned to compete on the balance beam and earned her seventh Olympic medal. Shortly after, she told a reporter her biggest takeaway from the games was to “put your mental health first.” “It doesn’t matter if you’re on the biggest stage,” she said. “That’s more important than any other medal you could win.”
Know your worth – Track star Allyson Felix won her 11th medal during the games and is now the most decorated American Olympian in track and field. She is also an advocate for women. In 2018, she was pregnant and negotiating a contract renewal with Nike. According to Allyson, Nike wanted to pay her 70 percent less than before. She asked the company to guarantee she wouldn’t be punished if she didn’t perform at her best in the months surrounding childbirth. Nike declined, and Allyson ended up signing a deal with Athleta. Soon after, Nike changed its policy regarding female athletes and contractual agreements tied to childbirth. During the games, Allyson wrote the following on her Instagram page: “I've been afraid that my worth is tied to whether or not I win or lose. But right now, I've decided to leave that fear behind. To understand that I am enough.”
Considering these three lessons. Which resonates with you the most and why? Share your perspective with us in the comments, and know that you are not alone.