Teammates, last Sunday night marked an epic milestone for Canadians when freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau won the gold medal in men's moguls. He was the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil.
Bilodeau's victory was not just Canada's first gold of the Games, but it also consigned to history Canada's status of being the only country to host the Olympics twice -- the Winter Games in Calgary in 1988 and the Summer Games in Montreal in 1976 -- without capturing a gold medal. The moment that Bilodeau won the gold, NBC commentators predicted the next day's top headline: "The drought is over."
It's certainly an appropriate headline for the 22-year-old's golden accomplishment, but the real story of inspiration comes from understanding what drove him to be the best in the world.
Bilodeau's older brother, Frederic, has cerebral palsy; he barely can walk or talk, yet has found a way to ski with his little brother.
"He's truly amazing," Alexandre said. "For all his challenges, he never has a bad day. He has every reason to be negative, but he's always positive."
Alexandre's skiing wasn't always golden, and one of the commentators asked him what kept him going when he was feeling discouraged. His reply is what compelled me to write this: "My brother Frederic is my perspective. When I didn't feel like practicing, I think of him and that he can't do what I can do, and then I would go and ski for him."
Perspective can come from anywhere and anything in your life. Link perspective with your personal purpose, and you'll create the most powerful weapon needed to accomplish your goals -- persistence. Nothing worth accomplishing is accomplished without persistence. Whether your goal is your country's first gold medal on home soil or going for gold in whatever you do, you'll need to find perspective to keep your persistence fired up and focused on your goal.
The next time you're feeling down, discouraged or distraught, think of Frederic Bilodeau sitting in a wheelchair cheering on his little brother to Olympic gold. Then realize how lucky you are that you can do what you do. Not to worry. I'm sure Frederic won't mind providing you with a little perspective. After all, you'll be in golden company; just ask his little brother and the 33 million Canadians who cheered him on.
Hooyah, Frederic and Alexandre Bilodeau.
CHARLIE MIKE -- ALDEN
- Your Olympic Support Team
- Go for GOLD by Doing Your Best
- How to Reach Your Goals
- Catch the Olympic Spark!
Alden Mills, creator of the Perfect Pushup, is CEO of Perfect Fitness. Mills went to the Naval Academy, where he went on to become a Navy SEAL. After retiring in 2000, he earned his MBA at Carnegie Mellon. His ultimate mission is to inspire everyone to pursue their own dreams. For more from Mills, check out www.perfectonline.com.
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