Gold Medal
by Jim Stovall

Like most of the world, I have been very interested in the last few days with the Olympic games taking place in Salt Lake City. As a former Olympic weightlifter myself, and as an American living in the host country, these games are at the forefront of my thinking as they are with many people across the country. The events of 9-11 have intensified the spotlight on these Olympic games.

I find it fascinating that people become fans of the Olympics that know very little about the individual sports. In the coming days, you will find people who don't know a downhill ski from a hole in the ground, emotionally cheering on their favorite athletes. In the final analysis, the Olympics are not as much about the individual sports as they are about striving for and achieving greatness.

The emotional background vignettes that the networks provide give us all a glimpse of the sacrifices that the athletes and their families have made to be a part of these Olympic games. As you are enjoying the telecasts in the coming days, begin to observe each of those athletes as they strive to be the very best in the world. For them, and for us, it is not as critical what you choose to do as it is how well you choose to do it. Whether you're an ice skater, a downhill skier, or a businessperson, the striving for greatness is what makes the world go around.

Sports intrigue us because there is a very clear winner and loser within the framework of defined rules and boundaries. There are winners and losers in business and in life, but they are harder to identify and define. For this reason, we each must define our own "Olympic sport" within the realm of our personal and professional lives. We must each strive to be the best. We are the only judge or referee in our sport. We have defined the rules, set forth our own timeframe, and established the finish line. We may or may not have a crowd who cheers us on, but it's that passion for the gold medal that can make our lives and careers meaningful.

Today, look for the passion as you strive for the gold medal within your own career and your life.

Today's the day!


Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at JimStovall@aol.com.

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Copyright 2002 by Jim Stovall. All rights reserved.

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