By Joanna S. Cabredo
In Ancient Greece, where the first Olympic Games was held, athletes win olive tree wreaths as symbols of success. Today, successful athletes of the Olympic Games win medals of gold, silver or bronze, and bag lucrative sponsorship deals, not to mention the pride and fame that comes with winning.
As players around the world flock in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games , the world watch in suspense and anticipation rooting and cheering on their athletes to snag their golds. They hail from different parts of the world, rally their strength, break out molds, and defend their titles.
But I can’t help but wonder, at a time where the Delta Variant nips at the heel of another COVID wave, is the Olympic Games immune to the virus? Are they not afraid Tokyo becoming a hotbed of a new COVID strain? Why is the world taking such a risk?
As news of the Olympics flood my Instagram account, I started following closely some athletes. Like a moth to a flame, I found myself drawn to them. I secretly scoured for their stories. I felt connected to the battles they fought. The odds they took. As I rummaged through a gamut of testimonials of athletes, I stumbled upon lessons of depth, perseverance and resilience. It’s as if I felt the pain of athletes falling a hundred times but they remained resolute until the game is over. I relished the lessons on grit and endurance. How they showed the world to stick to their grueling regimen until they become the best. Their testimonies peddled integrity and pride. They refuse to succumb to the pressures of convenience and cutting corners.
I realized that athletes are a lot like everyone else. Their journey towards triumph is often littered with setbacks and even failures. Many of them, at one point in their career returned home with blisters on their hands, hopes dashed, and broken dreams. And yet, they keep on playing until they become triumphant. Until they earn their stripes. Clutch the gold. The glory.