Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Athletic Success and Finding Inspiration Through Those That Reach The Top

This post comes from another writing associate and I am thrilled to get to share it. While it doesn't speak directly about cycling - the concepts are so perfectly parallel to the struggle on the road or trail that we all encounter from time to time. I hope you find it inspirational. Enjoy - Matt.

Sports stories have a huge popular following. Millions of fans follow football, baseball, or hockey games every week. Yet more millions stay glued to their television sets every four years as an Olympiad rolls on by. What is it that we find so incredibly compelling and inspiring about athletic pursuits and success stories? Why do we keep watching and listening? Athletics are a smaller version of human struggling, a microcosm our lives. In a game, a race, or a ring we watch a bit of history unfold. We watch individuals struggle against others and against themselves. We watch them struggle with the weight of expectations and the weight of what others have accomplished before. And inevitably we watch as someone overcomes obstacles and fears to become a champion and hero.

Sports as Life

We love success stories in sports because they remind us about certain facts of life success. The game is always hard. The game is never over until the end, and no winner was born a winner. The win is in the training, in the practice. Just trust Muhammad Ali, who gave us this gem among his numerous inspirational quotes: "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'" When we watch feats of athletic excellence, we watch the culmination of suffering and the birth of a champion.

Success as Personal

Some of the greatest sports stories remind us that we can be our own biggest opponents. Rudy Ruettiger has been made famous through the film Rudy. He was a short, dyslexic kid in a huge family. His dream was to play on Notre Dame's Fighting Irish football team. First though, he had to get into Notre Dame itself by taking two years of credits from a local college.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Report; No Doping Positives at 2013 Tour de France

I editorialized on this topic at about the half-way point of the tour this year after the stage finish on Mt. Ventoux saying that the tour certainly looks cleaner as a whole; but there were still some "suspicious" performances. This latest report seems to support my feelings. 

Stopping short of saying that the tour was completely clean; it did confirm that there were no positives (at least for the products and methods that there are tests for...).

Francesca Rossi; Director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, commenting on the 622 samples, including 443 blood samples and 179 urine samples, said:
“We have no adverse analytical findings. We changed the strategy. We were unpredictable and the riders perceived we were unpredictable.”


All content - except where otherwise noted - copyright 2006 - 2013 Matthew Magee. Do not use without permission.

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