The Olympics ... fleeting and utterly inspiring! With the closing ceremony now behind us, it’s easy to move on to the latest and greatest in our Twitter feed (#NationalPancakeDay is trending as we write). Let’s instead pause and take a moment to celebrate the way these athletes showed up to Give’r!
It’s not easy for us "viewers" to comprehend the degree to which each of these athletes committed themselves to this singular moment on the world stage. Countless pre-dawn mornings spent training. Significant time and financial sacrifices on the part of their families. Picking themselves up from inevitable setbacks, injuries and knock downs.
Choosing to Give'r is all about finding what you love and pursuing it with everything you've got. If we could make Gold Give'r Medals, we'd want to send 'em to everyone in the games ... 'cause the simple reality of getting to the Olympics is worthy of celebration. It inspires the Give'r in us all to get movin' and make the most of who we are and what we've got in life!
With that said, there are a few moments from the PyeongChang 2018 games we want to call out. These are the moments that stick with us because they offer a larger life lesson. In all of these cases, gold is involved, but it’s not about the medal, it’s about how the athletes carried themselves. It’s about their unwavering commitment to Give’r.
The thrilling gold medal triumph of Diggins and Randall — an effervescent 26-year-old from Afton, Minn., and a 35-year-old mother from Anchorage — was many things, depending on perspective. By late Wednesday night, the participants were talking about the impact the race might have on cross-country in the United States and across the world. It was an improbable victory and a career achievement. It was a surpassing finish and a historic moment. It was, in Randall’s words, “amazing validation.” It was, in the longest view, a miracle.
Randall had won her first Olympic medal at her fifth and final Games, in her 18th event — more than any other first-time Winter Olympics medalist. Diggins and Randall had won the first women’s cross-country medal in U.S. history and the country’s first cross-country medal for any gender in 42 years.
On a related note, prior to winning her medal, Diggins posted this on Instagram:
Don’t be sorry for me because I just missed a medal...be happy WITH me, because I fought like a hell today! I pushed my body so far past it’s limits I’m actually kind of amazed I didn’t pass out on that final climb. Looking back and knowing you gave it absolutely everything you had without holding back is a great feeling. 30km of racing down...3 race days to go!
2) The first gold medal of the games also makes our list ... 17-year-old Red Gerard (who grew up in Ohio) laid down the run of his life in men’s slopestyle snowboarding. We love his underdog story, but even more than that we love his attitude ... a mellow dude who just wants to wake up and go snowboarding. He doesn’t worry too much about what he eats or any particular training plan. He just thinks about pushing his limits, but not to the point of injury. Check out this Time Magazine video to see what we mean.
3) OK, we get it, ice dancing isn’t the event most of us eagerly anticipate. But, man, did the Canadians pull off a goose bump worthy performance. In addition to throwing a bone to Give’r country, we have to give props to Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir for pulling off the type of art that transcends human experience.
4) Another stunning Olympic moment unfolded when Norwegian skier Simen Hegstad Krueger fell and broke a pole at the start of the skiathlon, and then passed 67 others to win gold ... handily. He wasn’t even considered a favorite going into the race. He just found that “thing” within him, and gave’r like a bat out of hell.
Check out this Business Insider story for the play by play of the race.
5) Last but not least, how about that Czechoslovakian Ester Ledecka?!?! She earned two gold medals in entirely different disciplines – snowboarding and skiing – the latter a major come-from-behind win. Ledecka was racing from the 26th position on skis borrowed from Mikaela Shiffrin, and NBC had already crowned the eventual silver medalist the winner, because it was too unfathomable that someone as far down the lineup as Ledecka could podium.
Here’s another great Washington Post excerpt ...
She is the first woman to win gold in two unrelated sports at the same Winter Olympics. She is only the sixth Olympian, period, to do such a thing, and most of the other multitasking medalists pulled it off back basically when electricity was still considered a luxury. In modern times, it just doesn’t happen. Athletes aren’t wired this way. They aren’t allowed to be wired this way.
What were your favorite Olympic moments? Leave us a comment below!