The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Are Done – Are You Inspired?

Despite the growing concern with Delta, the Olympics did not disappoint.  I enjoyed every piece I got to see.  It was fun learning about new sports.  Who knew wall climbing was an Olympic sport?  We already talked about the women in beach handball being fined to wear clothes that allowed them to play without feeling sexualized. There are still a few things we have to cover. 

First up – Simone Biles.  I know many of you gripped your shirts when you heard she withdrew.  I wanted to see the magic of her death-defying efforts and have her take her rightful place in the history books.  Well, she took her place in a way I could not have imagined.  When I came to understand why she withdrew, I was amazed at her courage.  I have heard people speak of going through with marriages because the invitations had been sent.  She had the courage, the clarity and certainty to step back for her well-being.  Because of that powerful, thoughtful, necessary and right decision, five additional champions emerged. They all expected to be second to her and at her best perhaps they were, but at this Olympic game, they stepped up and took their own rightful place in history.  And just when you thought you would not get a Biles moment, she slips in the last event and takes a bronze medal.  We appreciated that, but what will endure forever is the way in which she changes the game for athletes speaking out about their mental health.  Her legacy and impact on the sport will have a long reach.  If you have any question as to whether or not it was the right decision, just consider these outcomes.

Next up – Allyson Felix.  Allyson Felix is now the most decorated Track and Field athlete eclipsing Carl Lewis with an astonishing 11 Olympic Medals.  What I love about her story is how she found a way.  She kept going and looking for support. She knew that in spite of experiencing the difficult birth of her child, she could compete again and she certainly did.  She is the epitome of one of my recurring and favorite sayings “trust the no.”  When somebody tells you no, trust that no.  There is another job, another partner, another office to rent – whatever. Sometimes the no is for you, not against you.  When Nike said no, Athletica said yes, and Allyson ran her races in shoes with her name on them.  She is in our history books not only because she has won 11 medals but because she redefined how we see working mommies.  We can now put to rest the idea that it is ok to pay women less because of maternity leave.  It was never ok and now the world can see it.  Nike had to miss it so the rest of us could see it.  

Last up – You.  The 2020 Olympics are over but we are still hard at work.  Are you setting the goals that etch your name in the history book you want to be in?  Have you thought about what legacy you will leave for those coming behind you?  What will you have the courage to stand for?  Are there “nos” lurking in your path that you need to change your perception about?  Instead of thinking about what you don’t get, consider what you do get and who it might come from. You cannot control what the world will say about you at a later point, you can only control what information they will draw on.  Make sure the content is what you want it to be.

Dr. Lisa Toppin

Our theme song is “We Are the Champions” by Queen.

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