5 Olympians Who Inspire Me and Why


Are you tired of the Olympics yet?  Not me, maybe tired of NBC only playing select sports on it’s non-cable channels, but other than that it has been awesome to watch with my family and has been very inspiring.  Although all of the Olympic athletes and their stories are inspiring, there are a few that stand out to me.

Here is my list of ‘5 Olympians Who Inspire Me and Why‘.

Oscar Pistorius

I truly didn’t think the day we’d be watching a man who had both legs amputated as a baby compete against the best athletes in the world.  He credits his mother as inspiring him to reach his goals and never letting him make excuses for not having legs.  His mother once told his brother (who had both his legs) and him these words, “You, put your shoes on. And you, put your legs on and that’s the last I want to hear about it.”

His story is amazing and captivating on so many levels it is hard for me to come up with words (without taking up an entire blog post).  I will just say that no excuse should ever stop you or me from doing anything in life.

Michael Phelps

No Olympic post about inspiration is complete without the Olympic G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time).  The 18 gold medals, and the 22 total medals are very impressive.  But that is the after-effect of it all.  What inspires me the most about Michael Phelps is his tremendous work ethic.  You do not get more medals than everyone in history without a ridiculous work ethic.  He inspires me to set a course (goals) and put in whatever amount of work, for however long it takes to accomplish my goals.  This is Michael Phelps to me.

He famously said he has done everything he has set out to do.  I am sure this is why he can comfortably and without regrets move on to the next phase.  Even if he didn’t accomplish all he set out to do, I am sure he could still walk away in peace because he gave everything he possibly could.  Twenty-two Olympic medals may not be possible for us, but giving our very best is possible.

Usain Bolt

At the beginning of this Olympics Bolt said the reason he is competing this year so people walk away saying, “what did I just see?”  That he will amaze all of us in what he does on that track.  I can say that he has already accomplished that with me.  When I see a guy leisurely crossing the finish line ahead of the fastest men on earth, I am amazed!

Like Phelps, he is reported to have a ridiculous work ethic, and it shows.  Yet, I also think he has been blessed with a ridiculous amount of talent.  Put those two together and you get amazement every time!

Misty May-Treanor & Kerry Walsh-Jennings

When you talk about winning, determination, and dominance, Misty May and Kerri have to come to mind. For the third straight Olympics they won beach volleyball gold.  The way they have done it is what is most impressive.  In 3 Olympics together they have won 21 out of 21 matches and 42 out of 43 sets in those matches.  That is complete dominance!

It is not like it was easy.  In fact, Misty May had to recover from a Dancing with the Stars injury, while Kerri got married and had two children.  But when you watch them play, you’d think they played beach volleyball every single day since the last Olympics.

Gabby Douglas

The youngest of the bunch.  At only 16 years old she showed the poise and confidence of someone well past her age.  Since becoming only the fourth American woman to win the All-Around gold and the first black person to do so, she has been the hottest name at these Olympics.

However, you can’t tell the difference between pre-gold medal Gabby and post-gold medal Gabby.  I attribute that to having deep roots based on her faith in Christ.  The way she performed under so much pressure, with so little margin for error is an awesome example of young kids and old kids (adults) everywhere.

Question:  Who, or what, has inspired you from the 2012 London Olympics?  Please share in the comment section below.


Aug 9, 2012