Olympics is one of the finest expressions of man’s passion to excel, dominate and win. On the other side, the agony and the pain of defeat after having come so close is the stuff that the legend of the Olympics is made of. In this speech today, I would like to highlight perseverance as the key to the Olympic glory.
Failing is one thing; but failing without a true fight is something else. Do we lose the battle even before the game begins? Are victories made in the playing arena or is it worked out in one’s mind already? These are questions worthy of our highest consideration.
Under-achievers try desperately to find short cuts to avoid preparing for performance. But honest hard work is the only way in which preparation can be done. If you can do the unglamorous work of preparation in the shadows; then when the spotlights will focus on you, they’ll see the emergence of a champion like gold coming out purified in the fire!
Dear friends, there is no substitute, I say again, no substitute for “blood, toil, tears and sweat.” The Olympic glory is not a product of rocking away in easy chairs; but is the reward of those whose “faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood,” today.
So many have said this many times, but I am saying it again: “Rome was not built in a day.” Everybody says it feels great to win an Olympic gold. But how long have you to be at it to win? How many heartaches have you to endure?
With what courage will you bounce back from defeats? Will your enthusiasm hold good when all that you built up over the years crumble down into rubble and dust?
Keeping on going for medal gold even when you’re crushed in spirit, even when medal gold seems unattainable, even when detractors say that it is not possible to achieve, is the secret of winning! In one word, perseverance is the key!
Victories in life are not permanent. We find the Olympics throw up new champions every four years. We find the glory of the past achievers pale into insignificance with the arrival of new ones.
So what is the relevance of the Olympic glory? It should teach you and me that life’s most coveted moments might not perhaps be in the victory stands. The lasting legacy might not be the medal you won but the sterling example you leave behind of “how you played the game!”
Dear friends, the Olympic glory is not for the man who is chasing a few nice rabbits here and there when he is hunting a prized lion. He has to keep track of his one goal. He has to keep his eyes focussed. He should see nothing but his victory. He should be able to say No to passions of life and distractions that all others indulge in.
Life continues. The Olympic torch in its journey across oceans and continents represents this continuity. It tells us that a message is being passed on. of a positive message of excellence to the next generation.
Will the next generation remember you as one who fought well; no matter whether you won or lost? Let me conclude in the words of Napoleon Bonaparte, “Victory belongs to the most persevering!”
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