Athletes from around the world have come to Sochi, Russia for the XXII Olympic Winter Games, also known as the winter Olympics, to participate in 98 separate sporting events in 15 disciplines. The Russian Government spent more than $51 billion constructing sporting venues, hotels, stores and restaurants for the onslaught of athletes, officials, trainers, coaches and spectators. Millions of people around the world are tuned to their television sets to watch the events, as well as the incredible opening and closing ceremonies. To celebrate all of this hoopla, here’s our list of 10 ways that life is like the Winter Olympics.
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10. Life is like an Olympic sled run. There are three kinds of sleds used in Olympic Sporting events; bobsleds, skeletons and luge. All of these sleds travel down the track at blistering speeds in excess of 87 mph. Life can be like that, too. But when things get too fast, just like an Olympic sledder, we can apply the brakes and slow things down.
9. Life is like figure skating. Figure skaters glide on the ice, performing beautiful acrobatic leaps and twirls, and making their routines look effortless. But looks are deceiving. Olympic figure skaters spend long hours in practice trying to master those “effortless” routines. Inevitably, a skater will fail to complete a particular move and take a bad fall. The lesson here is that grace and perfection in life are only achieved through lots of practice and a few tumbles.
8. Life is like carrying the Olympic torch. At the start of every modern Olympic Games, a team of runners carries a symbolic torch from Olympia, Greece, to the site of the current Olympics. During the opening ceremonies, a runner from the host country climbs a long stairway and uses the torch to light the Olympic flame, signaling that the games have begun. Like the Olympic Games, don’t we all carry a figurative torch announcing our presence to the world?
7. Life is like curling. Curling is a game consisting of two 4-person teams who alternate trying to slide an approximately 20-kilogram “stone” into a circular area known as the house. The team that gets the stone closer to the center of the house scores. The sport is slow but filled with strategies, like placing one of your stones in a position to block an opponent’s shot. Life is like curling in that we must proceed slowly and carefully towards some unseen goal. And it often seems as though someone is trying to “block our shot.”
6. Life is like a biathlon. Biathlon is a combination of cross country skiing and target shooting. Competitors race to a designated point, where they shoot at targets with specially designed rifles. They then race to the finish line. The score is based upon a combination of skiing speed and shooting accuracy. Life is like a biathlon in that we race through our regular routine but, every once in a while, stop to do something important, like get married, change jobs or have a child.
5. Life is like ice hockey. Hockey is basically soccer on ice. Two teams use special hockey sticks to hit a rubber puck into their opponent’s goal and also try to prevent their opponent from scoring in their goal. Life is like a hockey game in that we are always trying to advance our own goals while trying to prevent others from “scoring” at our expense.
4. Life is like snowboarding. Snowboarding is essentially skateboarding in the snow. Boarders shoot up and down various ramps, rails and half-pipes, flying through the air and performing aerial spins, somersaults and twists. Snowboarders attempt flashy, dramatic maneuvers and often suffer fantastic falls and crashes. Life is like that. We all dream of soaring high above everyone else but, occasionally we crash to the ground.
3. Life is like ski jumping. Men’s ski jumping events have been part of the Winter Olympics since the very beginning. Women’s events are official Olympic sports for the first time this year. Skiers ski down a long ramp and leap into the air. Scoring is based upon distance traveled from the end of the ramp to the landing point. In life, we spend a lot of time trying to leap ahead (at work, in finances or relationships), but we must land before leaping again.
2. Life is like freestyle skiing. Freestyle skiers compete on several different types of slopes, in aerial performances and over tracks featuring mixed downhill skiing and aerials. In life, we somehow negotiate a variety of different terrains, perform our daily routines and try to prove we are masters of it all, just like a freestyle skier.
1. Life is like the Winter Olympics. We all try to “medal” in our chosen professions, lifestyles, and relationships. We all compete in our very own Olympic routines. Unfortunately, we occasionally tumble and fall or crash to the ground, sometimes spectacularly. But, we pick ourselves up and keep trying, just like an Olympic athlete.