I am utterly inspired by the Olympic Refugee Team! These ten athletes fled horrifying conditions and undertook life-threatening journeys to find better lives for themselves. And in the midst of those terrifying and exhausting circumstances they decided that their reinvention would be more than escaping harm, they would put in the killer hard work to become Olympic athletes!
I recently wrote that self-reinvention isn’t for wimps and wow, these folks take that point right over the top!
They each have incredible stories. The seventeen-year-old swimmer who crossed from Turkey into Greece in an inflatable boat and when the motor died, she got out and swam, pulling the boat filled with people to safety. The young man who fled to avoid being forced to become a child soldier. Extraordinary.
They haven’t won any medals, at least not yet, but they have won my heart, and countless others as well. I still can’t hold back tears when I watch the footage of them marching into the stadium during the opening ceremonies and the entire place giving a standing ovation in honor of their courage in overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to be there. It was a breathtakingly beautiful human moment.
Their journeys say a lot about self-reinvention:
- No matter how terrifying it is to leap into the unknown sometimes the most dangerous thing is staying where we are.
- Our human spirit can do so much more than we usually realize.
- There is huge power in huge dreams! Can you imagine the sheer audacity it took for these people to say, “yeah I’m a refugee without a dime to my name, but I’m also a talented athlete and I am going to compete in the Olympics?!!
I have loved witnessing these extraordinary people and their incredible accomplishments as I am navigating my own self-reinvention.
Most of us won’t have to face the horrors of fleeing our homeland and risking our lives in jungles, deserts and the open sea, but we will face times when life throws a curve and we have to reinvent.
I am committed to taking a page from the playbook of these extraordinary refugees turned Olympic athletes and set big audacious goals for my next chapter!
What about you? Are you facing a challenge, or change, a reinvention? Are you ready to hold a go-for-gold attitude when stepping into that big, scary unknown of what next?!
There’s a wonderfully inspiring short video about these athletes. In it one amazing young man says, “Yes, we are refugees but we are also human being just like you, see?” They’ve done something great. So can you. No matter the odds … your next steps can be toward something great!
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