As the world gathers to watch athletes compete in the 2016 Olympics, there is an air of competition that spreads from the Brazilian beach to nations everywhere. We see it on the news and in stories online, how the desire to win drives athletes to break records and push themselves beyond fatigue and doubt. There are other forces at play as well: loyalty, determination, and admiration are a few. Some American athletes have shared their stories about how family, honesty, and perseverance have kept them going.
Simone Biles, a 19 year old female gymnast, has been receiving a lot of coverage as she and the "Final Five" have dominated their sport so far. What Simone brings to Team USA is more than talent and power, but also a large genuine smile and positive energy that make watching her even more enjoyable. What some may not know is that she was adopted by her parents, who are her biological Grandparents, after being placed in Foster Care by age 3. You can watch more about her story here, and see how she stays humble and rooted to her family.
Michael Phelps, coined "the most decorated Olympian of all time," has been around for years. He has also been involved with a variety of news stories documenting his highs and lows in life decisions. In an interview with ESPN, Phelps shared intimate details about his relationship with his Father that he felt directed his attitude and engagement in risky behaviors, eventually leading him to consider suicide. After attending a Rehab facility in 2014, he continues to seek peace in his life...while continuing to excel in swimming.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, a female who competes in fencing, made history as she became the first American to compete in the Olympics in hijab. By combining her desire to compete with a sport that allows her to adhere to her faith, Ibtihaj is a prominent example of carrying out her values in every aspect of her life.
There are many athletes, both American and from other countries, that continue to display sportsmanship, passion, and virtue in their sports and lives. Without the support of their coaches and friends or family, many of these athletes say they would not have reached this point of their life. By coaching strong athletes and youth, we can build a positive future, in life as well as sports.
School to Career Progressions utilizes character coaching to help youth prepare for life both in and outside of school. To learn more, click here.