Olympics Inspire More Than Athletes


I'm not a sporty person by any stretch of the imagination. A ballet freak, yes. Sports, meh.

Until the Olympics rolls around.

Maybe it's the chance to see so many fascinating events to which we don't normally gain access, like biathlon, Nordic skiing and speed skating.

I've been following these winter games quite closely, and it's not hard to find a wealth of inspiration from these athletes which has already transfered to my writing life:

* At the opening ceremonies, all athletes entering the arena are national champions, so they are on equal footing -- until the games begin. It's always a new test when you are finally competing with peers.

* 2010 gold medalist speed skater Charles Hamelin was entered in several races in Sochi, won gold for a distance in which he was not favored, but fell in two events for which he was favored. For me, this is a reminder that expectations are tricky things.

* There are doorknobs falling off of the residence rooms, really poor ice conditions, unexpected high temperatures during Nordic skiing -- and yet, each athlete must accommodate to these unforseen circumstances. Do you only perform under perfect conditions, or can you roll with the punches?    


Have you been inspired by the Sochi Winter Games? What has touched you the most?

Photo by Helen Tansey
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