Go for the Gold!

With the eyes of the world feasting most recently upon the Olympics, it reminded me how we human beings revere strength, endurance and tenacity.

We also adore winning.

“No one remembers second place”.

Truly, I wonder if we honestly remember first place, after all the hooplah dies down.

Ok. Here’s a test.  Who won the 1972 Men’s Discus Throw?  No googling it!!!

I need a name NOW.

Who cares you ask?

My point exactly.

But we just spent two corporate weeks around the world, proving we DO care.  Enjoying the best of the best in sports worldwide.

Just for fun, I looked up heroic failures.  You should try it some time… there’s an extensive list.  Some will make you laugh.  Others will make you roll your eyes.  I honed my search to “Olympic heroic failures”… and found this tidbit on a site from the country of Wales:

Another noble marathon loser, the Afghan athlete found organisers had started clearing the track for the closing ceremony when he finally reached the Atlanta stadium in 1996.


Can you imagine that?  You’ve slogged your guts out on a race that you started with a myriad of other runners, only to finally finish the course and find no one in the stadium.  No one waited for you.  You knew you weren’t going to win gold, but seriously—-coming in to find the finish line has been packed up for another four years and the clean-team changing the venue for the celebration party??!! Talk about being old news… they forgot his name before the race was done. Was it worth it?

Maybe it’s time for us to shift our view on what exactly a WINNER is.

Time to go back to the values we say we admire… strength, endurance and tenacity.  While the world hails the winning athlete and our nations bask in their glory, what about all the people around the globe competing every moment of every day for their very existence?  Those people like Tristan, cancer warriors, who wake up every day and have to choose how they will endure another day of pain, choose how hard they will fight and how long they will battle.

There’s no “nice” way to handle cancer.  It’s an all-out-no-holds-barred-assault and every day is a war and every new day after that is a victory.  There are no gold medals, no silver or bronze rewards for these quiet heroes who undergo surgeries, blood tests, spinal taps, chemotherapy, medical trials, radiation, and lives in chaos, simply to have a chance to live another day.

You survive or you don’t.

It’s not quite the “Hunger Games” kind of existence, but then again… in some ways, cancer has become the Capital of Panem, forcing its Tributes to go up against extensively-trained and well-armed rivals.  The rest of us are forced to the sidelines, to wait, to watch and to feel powerless to change their destiny.

We can’t call it anything but a battle, because to not recognize it as such means that we are not prepared for the full destructive power that is inherent in this enemy.

Part of it’s insidious power is that as on-lookers, we do feel helpless to make a difference.  But we can.  People have proven that over and over.  We have the power as a group of people to rise up and be victorious, by cheering for the team, by seeing a need and supplying it, by praying however we believe, and by sharing our respect for the warrior.

We want to thank all those who’ve joined us in support to give Tristan a fighting chance.  Because of hundreds of people giving hope sacrificially or giving out of abundance, giving a little or giving much, Tristan now has the financial wherewithal to try something new, something different, something cutting-edge.  A new weapon in the arsenal against an aggressive and merciless enemy.

When I look at my nephew and my sister and see what they have accomplished in seven years of unrelenting battle, I believe that they deserve a stadium full of the world’s audience, standing in awe and ovation for them.  Raising a flag, singing their anthem and rejoicing in a fierce competition that has enduring, life-altering results.  I believe that Tristan and Marion deserve a hundred bouquets for their strength and tenacity, a thousand Kodak moments for their endurance, and  gold medallions hung around their necks, signifying that we recognize them as the ultimate in competitors.  They deserve newscasts and news articles and people to remember them 25 years from now.

All they want is for Tristan to have a chance to live his life, healthy and whole.

By the way, the winner for the Discus throw in ’72 was Ludvík Daněk of then, Czechoslovakia.


~ by tristansgiftofhope on August 19, 2012.

One Response to “Go for the Gold!”

  1. thanks freedigital photos and Phisiket for the nuclear art…

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