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The lesson learned by national pride

Aaron Hall | Interrobang | Sports | February 20th, 2006

With the 20th Olympic Games currently in full force in Torino Italy there were countless number of storylines that I could have followed pertaining to this great sporting spectacle.

I had contact information for experts in the area of sports marketing, mental imagery, Olympic history, and drug use in the Olympics and yet I still struggled to choose an Olympic topic that seemed fitting.

Then it hit me.

A very evident story of the Olympic Games lies in the pictures of every athlete that has either just finished an Olympic gold medal clinching race, or of an athlete gazing at his or her countries flag being raised with the playing of their national anthem. By analyzing the athletes faces during their moment of triumph it is obvious that many emotions are flying through their minds.

When watching the face of Jennifer Heil, the Olympic gold medallist in the women's moguls events, it was evident that pride was beaming off of her as she watched the Canadian flag being raised and listened as ‘Oh Canada' was played.

After the Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger captured the gold medal in the doubles luge, they could not contain their excitement as they embraced each other after their race and waved to the crowd in triumph.

Other athletes will break down into tears after a victory, as months and years of training have all come together and reached the most dramatic and satisfying of conclusions for the athletes' careers.

No matter what instance, and not matter what country, or part of the world that an athlete is from it is very hard not to feel a sense of happiness when watching a victorious athlete basking in their championship moment. The simple smile on their faces are truly genuine, and that alone is something that can be inspirational to anyone.

The athletes at the Olympic Games are not competing in events in hopes of receiving a multi-million dollar contract extension in the off-season, or hoping to be awarded their performance bonuses at the end of their event. They are competing because they love their respected sports and hope to be crowned the champion of the world in their discipline.

So I encourage everyone the next time you see a picture of a gold medal winning Olympic athlete, analyze it and imagine what that individual must be feeling. If anything, it should help raise your own spirits and provide you with a positive, and pleasing experience.
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