Nothing brings us together as a country like the Olympics. Last night I laid awake in bed watching Americans dominate the swimming events – it was wonderful! Chants of USA, USA, USA! help me forget the lead-up to Rio was colored by reports of crime, corruption and unfulfilled promises. It seemed as if all of the authorities were acting purely in their own self-interest. And the Zika Virus became an overnight media darling. Where is the goodness in all this?
Far be it for me to judge the intentions of an international sporting organization, but I think it’s an interesting discussion point to look for the goodness! We’ve all been involved with massive undertakings that were managed poorly and created a negative mood and tone.
Do you wonder how the build-up to the Olympics could have been different, building on the Cornerstones of Goodness?
All too often the build-up to the games themselves is about politics – and it seems that promises made in the selection process often can’t be fulfilled. The Olympics is about rewarding the physical excellence and mental toughness of champions. Will we ever see a day when the politics doesn’t taint the games?
Corruption rumors tainted Rio’s mission to bring honor to the host country. Whenever I travel I find the ordinary people to be kind, open and generous. The Brazilians I know are embarrassed by the selfish action of a few selfish leaders. But the stories emanating from the competing athletes are tales of volunteers and Brazilians with warm welcomes and generous hearts.
Earlier this year, a state-sponsored doping scandal rocked the Olympic community. Why watch elite athletics if some have an artificial advantage over others? Fairness is fundamental to good competition. That’s why no one likes a cheater.
Looking closely, we see the core of gold medal winners is mental toughness: the ability to stay positive and focused against all odds. World-class athletes work really hard and they are constantly improving. But they don’t criticize one another in the name of great achievements. They win gold medals through encouragement.
Good leaders look for the Cornerstones of Goodness in every successful endeavor. And they find ways to build upon excellence, generosity, fairness and positivity.
Please tell me: Where do you see goodness in the Olympics?