It seems for many of the New Zealand athletes the obvious hurdle of Olympic selection has come and gone. For those who have missed out, I am sorry, and I understand how much effort and passion goes into competing at this level.
I remember talking to one of our rowing team doctors many years ago, and asking about his job. I had assumed that the worst thing you would ever have to do would be to tell a patient that they had a terminal illness and the outlook was grim. He shocked me with his answer – “the hardest thing he had ever had to do was tell a top athlete that their sporting career was over because of an injury that could not heal. His thoughts were that we all live and die, it’s what we do with that time that is the most important.” Sobering stuff!
My thoughts genuinely go out to those who have put their lives on hold for four to eight years if not more, and spent thousands of hours and dollars to achieve this dream, and for whatever reasons have not been selected. It is little consolation now, but only in time will realise the benefits of your dedication.
It will surprise you how much you will take from high level sport without realising it.
For me, they have being things you take for granted, but later in life they serve you well.
• Work ethic
• Ability to be a great team member
• An international outlook
• Great contacts
• High standards
• A focus on quality
The list goes on. No matter what you turn to in life, those key attributes will serve you well.
One of my favourite quotes is from Sir Ed – “it’s not the mountain we conquer, its’ ourselves’” – in that vein I encourage you to be really proud of everything you have done to this point and to turn what might seem adversity into amazing opportunity.
For those continuing on to London – Back to work!