“Winning together” (Roy Heiner)

27 mrt 2020

What surprised me was that the IOC consistently insisted that whatever happened: the Olympic Games will happen as planned. The central message of the past few months. Little outward empathy. It is all about money of course, it also costs more than a few cents, to be more precise, certainly more than $ 26 billion. Because it fits into the business case, because it is considered worth investing in it to see the top athletes – contemporary gladiators – in action. Action that a global audience looks at, that represents market value, that can be earned back through the business case. And so the rational wheel is round. Could it be that money is so much more important than health, or the feeling of compassion for all those millions of people in a form of lock down, or fair sports competition? Only after Canada withdrew, Australia went into lock down until June and athletes and unions expressed their displeasure, did the IOC change their tune. Postponement of the Olympics. What happened to leadership.

It is a new reality for leaders. Consideration for emotions and relevance is desirable. “Must have” became “nice to have”. Hopefully one of the permanent changes due to the corona virus. A new reality for top athletes, unchartered waters. Not foreseen, but reality. Your top sport bubble is disrupted. For some, the pain of more training time to catch up with the top players. For the top players the need to give everything for another year. Gone are the plans of stopping after August 10, of a long vacation, waking up normally again, keeping your family promises or just pursuing other goals. Can you recharge yourself, accept the pain to show the best of yourself and now an even better version of yourself in a years time. Can you take on that challenge?

And that is what makes top sport so special. For those playing catchup but also the leaders. Daring to decide every day to take a step towards your goal. Even if the goal is moved. Every day with the mindset of seeing the opportunities rather than bowing out to the many hurdles. To celebrate improvements and accept the pain. To gain confidence from the improvement by overcoming frustrations. To give it all every day but also with an open mind, staying close to your own unique self but with respect and empathy for your competitors, your sport and the world. Is this not everyone’s story, could this not be everyone’s story? Together we all win next year!