The heartbreak after hard work

I am a huge sports fan and for me, the Beijing Olympics have been stunning.

Watching the 100m final blew me away, I never imagined I would ever witness such a feat in my lifetime.  For Usain Bolt to destroy a World record is one thing, to destroy it whilst jogging is simply mind-blowing.  I have not missed watching a 100m final live since 1980 with Alan Wells conquering the World in Moscow.  My most vivid memories are when I woke at 3am in 1988 to see Ben Johnson destroy Carl Lewis’ dream of 100m gold.  This was swiftly followed the next day when we woke to hear of Johnson’s drug test failure.

With Team GB setting World Records in the pool and velodrome, it is clear we are in a great position going into the next Olympics in London 2012, let’s hope the athletics team find some investment so we can feature in the showcase events.

But after all of this, for me, the most endearing image was that of a broken man.  Liu Xiang, the Chinese hero, pin-up and megastar.  For the past four years, he has had the entire National look to him for inspiration and hope.  He would have won the gold in the 110m hurdles and been the story of the Olympics.  The poor guy arrived for the first race carrying a devastating injury.  The worst a hurdler can have, an Achilles tendon injury.

Seeing him prepare for the race, holding his ankle, almost praying it would magically fix itself is something I will never forget.  After putting in immense hard work and effort, dreaming of nothing else for years and looking at failure when you have absolutely zero control, it shows how cruel life can be.

I look at myself and things going on right now, and could easily be in the same position, just not so public.

Have you ever had a situation where you prepared so well, worked so hard etc but in the end had the dream taken away from you by no fault of your own?  I’d love to hear what happened to you after 🙂

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3 thoughts on “The heartbreak after hard work”

  1. I was going to say that I’ve never put all my eggs in one basket but, thinking about it [ouch], that hasn’t been the case. Lateral thinking has had to be used on several occasions to avert disasters and wriggle out of potentially crushing situations ……… so far, so good.

    Liu Xiang has a dignity about him that makes me think he’ll be OK eventually …… his mental torment at the moment must be huge.

    Excellent post young Kevin ………

  2. I loved this post. Read it a few days ago and I haven’t forgotten it (which says alot considering my ADD nature).

    Having been involved first-hand with a start-up which ended with a terrible crash, I’m all too familiar with the pain and humiliation of public failure. We worked hard for years and never took our success for granted. Back then we didn’t know enough to avoid some major pitfalls, but we knew enough to dig ourselves out of trouble more than once. Our final blow came with 9/11 when our biggest client lost $2M in travel business overnight, declared bankruptcy, and left us with a $400K bad debt. Ouch. We hung on for another six months, but eventually lost the battle.

    It was one of the most painful experiences of my professional life. But it wasn’t until years later that I was given the perspective to understand what an incredible learning experience that was. To be honest, I wouldn’t trade that kind of knowledge for anything …

    To me entrepreneurs, like athletes, are courageous and inspiring. How we fail is just as important as how we succeed.

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