“My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results… but it is the effort that’s heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.”
– George R.R. Martin
One of the things I’m constantly emphasizing is to follow your bliss, do what you love, and the rest will follow. Olympic athletes exemplify this motto and give us real, tangible proof of what comes when you pursue your dreams. Matthew McConaughey found out exactly that first-hand when he spoke with some of the athletes this week in Rio. Take a look:
You may not have heard of a Cuban gymnast who didn’t have all the training facilities and resources that other athletes have to hone their skills and help them advance in their sport; all Manrique Larduet had were some videos of gymnasts that some friends brought into the country to use as training material, and a dream of becoming an Olympic-medal-worthy-gymnast.
Born and raised in communist Cuba, Manrique did all he could to become the best gymnast possible. However, despite his best efforts, he was often left feeling frustrated due to the lack of funding available for Cuban gymnasts to compete internationally. “I wanted to quit; I wanted to join the circus…but you train for a dream, and you work for a dream. I wanted to have my dream”, he recalls in this must-see, awe-inspiring interview.
And he did. He made history winning a silver medal at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastic Championships, and onward to Rio in 2016. Manrique didn’t get a chance to realize his dream in Rio. He participated in the rings and the vault before he pulled out of the all-around after he injured his ankle on the vault.
Even though he didn’t get a chance to medal this time around, he’s an inspiration, showing us just far we can go with a dream.
“To be a champion, it doesn’t matter where you are. What matters is the bravery and desire to obtain what you want.”
– Manrique Larduet
Never stop chasing your dreams, even if you don’t get there, your effort is heroic…and you just never know how your story will inspire others, and help make the world a better place.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!