Watching the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has been an incredible lesson in athleticism, teamwork and the Olympic spirit.
But watching those athletes push the limits of human strength and endurance, while also showcasing the human spirit, is awe-inspiring.
We’re big on community here at iThemes and in the wider WordPress world. We help each other out. We’re not afraid of a little healthy competition, and we gladly shake hands when it’s all said and done. Teamwork and sportsmanship are as important to Olympic athletes as they are to freelancers.
The Ultimate in Olympic Spirit
The Olympics actually awards sportsmanship with the Pierre de Coubertin medal, named after the founder of the modern Olympics. It’s a rare honor given by the International Olympic Committee to athletes, sports promoters and officials who exemplify the Olympic spirit. While acclaimed swimmer Michael Phelps may have 23 gold medals, only 17 Pierre de Coubertin medals have been awarded since the medal’s inauguration in 1964.
So we offer a salute to the Olympic spirit with these inspiring stories from the 2016 games. They may not be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin, but they may inspire you as a freelancer to compete well and be a good member of the WordPress team.
In the women’s 5,000-meter race, Abbey D’Agostino of the U.S. and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand collided and fell to the ground. The women helped each other up and kept racing.
“I went down, and I was like, ‘What’s happening? Why am I on the ground?’ ” Hamblin said. “Then suddenly, there’s this hand on my shoulder [and D’Agostino saying], ‘Get up, get up, we have to finish this.’ And I’m like, ‘Yup, yup, you’re right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.’”
Gymnasts Keep Going
German gymnast Andreas Toba tore his ACL while qualifying for the men’s floor event. He went down in tears, afraid he would cost his team the chance to compete.
But then Toba kept going, competing injured later that day in the pommel horse event so his team could qualify for the next round.
He wasn’t the only gymnast to keep going despite injury.
British gymnast Ellie Downie landed on her neck during a floor routine, a potentially scary injury that left her dazed and shaken. But she came back to perform her vault—twice—so her team would still be able to qualify.
While some athletes expressed their frustration in losing, others showed us how it’s done and properly congratulated the winner. We see it in nearly every sport: archery, cycling, swimming, track and more.
Finally, you have to love the joy and exhilaration of first-time winners.
The Pacific Island nation of Fiji went nuts when their team won gold in rugby, and understandably so. It’s the first-ever Olympic medal for Fiji and it’s their national sport.