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The Blog

One Shot


By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

I have loved watching the 30th Olympiad wrapping up this weekend. So many special stories. So many great competitions. And so many BIG moments. Some of my favorites:

  • Michael Phelps winning 6 medals to become the most decorated Olympian ever.  Twenty-two medals in his Olympic career. Amazing.
  • US Swimmer Nathan Adrian shocking the world in the 100m freestyle swim by taking gold in 47.52 seconds. His dramatic finish was one hundredth of a second faster than Australia’s legendary swimmer, James Magnussen.
  • Seventeen year-old swimmer Missy Franklin. She opted to stay in Colorado with her family, stay in high school (and by opting out of endorsement opportunities she achieved her personal goal to remain on her high school swim team), and train with her coach of 10 years instead of going to a “big-time” coach and program to pursue her dream. What maturity and wisdom in this young girl. She’s leaving London with 4 golds and 1 bronze.
  • 400m Track and Field gold medal winner Kirani James from Grenada, exchanging name tags (bibs) after his semi-final victory with last place finisher Oscar Pistorius from South Africa. Pistorius has two prosthetic legs and many people felt like he shouldn’t have even been in these Olympics. I completely disagree. Heart. Sportsmanship. Courage. Love.
  • Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings locking down their amazing place in Women’s Beach Volleyball history by winning their third consecutive gold medal. That’s 12 years of domination. They never lost one match during the entire time. And only lost one set in 3 different Olympics (out of 43 sets).  Amazing.
  • US Women’s Soccer Team beating Japan 2-1 in a barn-burner re-match of World Cup 2011 in front of 80,000 people. I loved watching the ladies compete at such a high level. It’s hard to single out one person here but love the leadership and intensity of Abby Wambach, the huge saves by Hope Solo, and the stand-out play of gals like Carli Lloyd, Christie Rampone, and Alex Morgan. Kudos to Coach Pia Sundhage for a great job leading these outstanding women to a monstrous victory.

But perhaps my favorite event and moment out of all of the Olympics happened in the Men’s Track and Field 10,000m run. The men were jockeying for position throughout the entire race. It was like watching a chess match. The race was full of the Kenyans, Ethiopians, Eritreans and other top runners of the developing world. But it was Londoner Mo Farah, a Somali-born immigrant, who took the gold in a time of 27 minutes and 30.42 seconds. Galen Rupp from the US took Silver in 27:30.90 and Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia took the bronze in 27:31.43.

It was a furious, heart-pounding bell lap with everyone sprinting the last 400 meters of the 6.2-mile race. But the side-note is that Farah and Rupp are training partners. They have trained together in Oregon under the guidance of great runner, Alberto Salazar. After the dramatic finish, what was so apparent and so heartwarming was watching Farah’s and Rupp’s genuine excitement for each other after the race. Teamwork. Competition. Brotherhood. What a moment.

This race also marked the first Olympic medal in the men’s 10,000m event for an American since Billy Mills won the gold 48 years ago. Rupp said after the race, “If I could be an inspiration to others, that would be the greatest compliment ever.” Man, I couldn’t have said it better. I LOVE the Olympics.

There were many great moments in the London 2012 Games. These were just some of my favorites. I’m sure you have your list as well.

But here is the important point to all of this. Each of these athletes had ONE SHOT at their big moment. ONE SHOT at GOLD at the London 2012 Games. Most would have said they worked their entire lives for the chance to compete. Some performances didn’t go well, but some went beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. When these men and women, many of the most highly trained athletes in the world, arrived in London just a few weeks ago, they knew. THIS WAS IT.

And how about you right NOW? What future are you preparing for? Are you maximizing your opportunities? Are you training, eating, and preparing your health and fitness performance to be your best when your best is needed? You may not be an Olympian. You may not have prepared your entire life for just one moment or ONE SHOT at history. But each of us has just ONE SHOT at LIFE and THIS IS IT.

It’s time to step up, my friend. Game on.

Many blessings.


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