Olympic Glory and Your Authentic Self

by Dani Fake Webb on February 24, 2010

Ok, fess up. Who tears up when watching certain parts of the Olympics? You know, the ones where we watch an athlete’s unabashed joy at her victory? Or the competitor who overcomes tremendous odds to win the medal? Or maybe he missed the medal, but is as exuberant as can be because he was able to fulfill his dream of making it to the Olympics? C’mon. I know I am not the only crier out there!


Vancouver Olympics Alpine SkiingLet’s take Lindsey Vonn for example. Anyone who saw her emotional reaction to her gold medal win in the women’s downhill couldn’t help but be moved. Years of training. A badly bruised and swollen shin. Speculation that she wouldn’t be able to compete. And yet there she was, at the bottom of a very painful ski run. The most important ski run. Laughing. Giddy. Falling-on-the-ground happy. A lifetime of work. Culminating in that moment. That very moment. Gold. She won Olympic Gold.

I mean, how can you not be moved by that!?

(Click here if you want to see that race and the interview that followed. Sorry for the ads…NBC is weird that way!)

Apolo OhnoHow about Apolo Anton Ohno, short track speed skating genius!? Speed skating fan or not, you must admit he is a master at this sport! To watch him skate at the back of the pack for most of a race, and then make his move – passing everyone – in the final laps is thrilling and amazing! He has it all: technical precision, artistry, passion.

Apolo may not have moved me to tears like Lindsey did, but he did inspire me. I was energized and flipping around the house watching his intense races! The next day, my husband and I looked like total fools on our walk as we pretended to speed skate down the street.

Why would we do that?!  Why do we cry, jump up and down, pretend to be the speed skater? (Hey, I know I’m not alone here. ‘Fess up!) Why are we moved by the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?”


There is something about the Olympics that stirs us. The stories. The hard work. The perseverance in the face of defeat. The ultimate realization of a dream. The training. The practicing. Over and over and over again. The mastery. The artistry.

It really is beautiful.

I believe that Olympic athletes are very in tune with their Authentic Selves, the part of them that knows who they are created to be. It takes too much dedication, drive and hard work for the athletes to not be in tune with that part of themselves.

As observers, something in us recognizes that. The part of us that knows the life we are meant to live is stirred, awakened, and enlivened as it watches the energy of the Olympians. That energy requires a response from the observer. Our stirred desire reminds us, consciously or unconsciously, that we too have a purpose that can take us to our own gold medal.

People will respond differently to this desire, but a response is required. Some will embrace it, be inspired, and seek to listen to the voice of their Authentic Self. Others might get bitter and shut down, thinking, “Oh, that’s nice for her/him, but that’s not my life.”

But it is your life. It’s my life. We all have something at which we can be gold medal “Olympians.” The question is: Do you know what that something is?

Gold medals aren’t won by just “going through the motions” of life. Gold medals are won with clarity, focus, tenacious perseverance and the overcoming of obstacles.

So think about this: How clear are you? Where is your life’s focus? Are you conscious of it or just going through your days? What steps are you taking to address the barriers between your life today and your “Gold Medal Life?”

gold medal


  • Have you taken the time to discover your “Olympic Sport?” What are you meant to do in this life? What stirs that longing feeling? (Tip: Think about people toward whom you feel tinges of jealousy. What are you jealous of? That can give you a clue about what your Authentic Self really desires.)

  • What are the barriers you need to overcome to take steps toward your “Gold Medal Life?” (Tip: Pay attention to your thoughts. Where do you say “but” and give up? For example, “But I don’t have enough money.” “But I have kids.” “But my partner wouldn’t support that.” “But I’d have to move.” “But I need this job.” These may be valid considerations, but don’t have to be solid barriers.)

  • What action will you take toward your dreams? What teeny little baby step can you take today to move you in that direction? (Tip: Olympic athletes have tons of support as they pursue their dreams: coaches, friends, community. Build your own “support team” to help you discover and pursue your “Gold Medal Life.”)

That dream you have…the one that you think is impossible? It’s not. You can be exactly who you’ve been created to be. You must be that. Pursue it. Fight for it. Get support in it.

Your Gold Medal Life is waiting for you.

Until next time, may you love your life today.


PS: Consider attending my “Live Your Authentic L.I.F.E” Retreat. It can help you get a jump start on your Gold Medal Life! Register by Friday at noon eastern for special pricing and bonuses!

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