Sochi 2014- Todd Kaplan

Olympians White, Miller and Zamperini Overcome Adversity

It’s the final week of the winter Olympics, and when you think about it for just a minute, you have about 88 nations and over 2,800 athletes participating in these Olympics. I can’t begin to imagine some of the overcoming adversity stories that must exist for many of these athletes. Even the commercials (I usually like to fast forward through the commercials) are adversity themed. The tag line in Liberty Mutual’s commercial: “We believe with every setback there’s a chance to come back.”
As I was listening the other night to Tom Brokaw’s interview with Bodie Miller, I was struck by one of the comments he Bodi Miller Olympian overcomes adversity - Todd Kaplanmade regarding the events that Bodie Miller didn’t do so well in (some of his failures). Tom Brokaw stated, “Failure, most important lesson if you are prepared to learn from it.” That is so true, and how many people have I met that talk about failure but never begin to realize the great lessons that we can learn from our failures, if we are prepared to learn these lessons.
Not being an Olympic skier myself, I can still remember being told if you fall seven times, stand up eight times. I wonder how many times these Olympians must have fallen before being able to get the opportunity to represent their countries. I’m truly inspired by these Olympic athletes, so in the coming weeks I hope to look into some of the hardships that other Olympians had to endure during their training.
With that being said, I already know great overcoming adversity stories for two Olympians. Shawn White is a householdShawn White Olympian overcomes adversity Todd Kaplan name (especially if you have kids) with all of the success he’s had, not just in the sports world (being the first person to compete in and win both the Summer and Winter X Games) but also his many successes in business. Shawn White was overcoming adversity long before he strapped on a snowboard or tried skateboarding for the first time. As an infant, he had a congenital heart defect and had to have two open heart surgeries before his first birthday.
The second amazing story of an Olympian goes back to the 1936 Olympic Games. Louis Zamperini never won a medal when he competed in Berlin, but what happened to him after the games really shows what we can do as humans to overcome adversity if we set our minds to it. After competing in the games Zamperini decided to enlist in the United Louis Zamperini Olympian overcomes adversity Todd KaplanStates Air Force. During a search and rescue mission in 1942 his plane crashed in the ocean killing eight of the 11 crewmembers aboard. After spending 47 days adrift at sea and losing one of the three survivors, Zamperini and the only other survivor finally reached l and in the Marshall Islands. If being lost at sea for 47 days wasn’t hard enough, they were captured by the Japanese. Both men had to endure captivity and torture for several years until the end of the war in 1945. Yet, after all of the adversity and hard times both mentally and physically Louis Zamperini returned home to have a productive life.
Now, this is a story of overcoming real adversity. When you begin to feel overwhelmed and think that you can’t continue to Fight On (Zamperini was a USC Trojan by the way) you just need think about what Louis Zamperini had to go though and that should help you remember to never give up!

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