“I’ve realized the extraordinary power of sports to heal, unite and inspire. I believe the Olympics will serve as the ultimate platform to provide positive changes and I hope to inspire all of Japan through my strong showing there.”
– Kohei Uchimura
When I was a kid, I always wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro; it sounded so exotic, so fantastical. I imagined it to be an airy and almost mystical place. Now that I think about it, I wonder if a song from long ago conjured up those images of romance, fantasy, beaches, fun and frolic in my mind. I don’t remember when I first heard the song, it seems like I’ve always known it; I do know that it always takes me to a place of hope and fantasy where anything is possible.
As the 2016 Rio Olympic Games wind down and the summer draws to a close, thoughts of lounging on the beach flutter through my mind, as I look with excitement to the future for what lies ahead. Many Olympians have returned home, to be greeted by crowds of adoring fans, and it feels like the opening ceremony was so long ago. But, these short two weeks have left an indelible mark – the athletes of the 31st Olympiad have not only inspired so many young people to pursue their dreams; they have also sparked a renewed passion with older generations to believe that anything is possible, no matter how old you are.
The Wall Street Journal says the athletes in Rio are on average about two years older, some still competing in their 30’s and 40’s, and credits sports science, new training techniques, and an influx of sponsorship money for keeping athletes in the games when they may have “aged out” in previous years. I think it’s because more and more athletes believe they can, and that’s the key to success, no matter what your pursuit.
Another Brazilian is still inspiring crowds, like she did in 1964, when she became the inspiration for a song that has sparked emotion for generations around the world. Heloísa Pinheiro is the girl from Ipanema, and she’s still getting wolf-whistles on the beach in Rio, at 71 years old.
Blog Beats: The Girl from Ipanema by Stan Getz & João Gilberto
No matter what your goals are, believe that anything is possible, have faith in your greatness, inspire those around you to let their light shine, and always remember you’re here for a good time, so enjoy the journey!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!