A Letter to the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team

Posted by on February 24, 2014

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Dear Members of the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team, YOU WERE EXCEPTIONAL!

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics came to a close yesterday, but what was captured on screen will stay in our hearts and minds forever.

Throughout the Games, Canadians all over the globe were uniting as proud supporters of our team. I, on behalf of all Canadians, would like to thank our amazing athletes and coaches for their involvement at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and for being amazing ambassadors of our country.

What were the highlights of the Olympics for you? What performance(s) stood out to you?

For me there were many highlights from the Games, and each was very special.  But one theme was common to all our Canadians’ efforts: the importance of perseverance and believing in yourself!

The Women’s Gold medal game between Canada and the U.S. last Friday displayed that for me in particular. For the first 56 minutes, our Canadian women’s team were down two goals to the Americans, and it appeared to the viewers that they wouldn’t win.

Some people in their position would have given up and felt defeated.

Then, with less than 4 minutes left in the game, a goal was scored by Brianne Jenner, a Canadian who saw a hole and took it. She still believed; she showed others that with perseverance and hope, a goal was possible.  That meant that other goals were possible too! With redeemed momentum spawned by this first goal, Marie-Philip Poulin (Canada) got a second – with less than one minute remaining in the game. 

They tied up the score, and then won the game after a hard-fought battle in overtime.  Marie-Philip Poulin (Canada) scored the gold-winning goal. Amazing. I have to give credit to the Americans too who played an awesome game.

For their perseverance and hope, the women’s team got the GOLD! Their efforts (players and coaches) were inspiring, and their perseverance was what I deem a Record Worthy Performance for their attitude alone.

These women are all-stars in my book! Not only are they amazing because of their talent and heart on the ice, but because of their dedication to the sport in general. Women’s hockey has been largely criticized because women are going against traditional “roles.”

To me and all other female athletes, these women are our role models.  I will support them now just as I did for years past, and cheer them on for leading the way! (Read a post I wrote supporting them after the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, called Standing Firm Against the Tide).

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After the game, I thought about how we can extend the teaching of perseverance beyond the ice through having a wonderful support network to lift us up.

The common motivational advice from other athletes is: “Keep practising and never give up!” If you keep training physically and improving, you will win medals, right?

But sports performance is more than physical performance.  One’s mindset plays a big part.  “Sports Psychology tells us that in order to develop into an outstanding athlete, it takes 40% goal setting and motivation, 50% attitude, and 10% ability; yet we as coaches spend the majority of time working on the physical aspects but very little time on the mental” (Leo Brittain, Texas Coach, 2001).

It is clear that for the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team, it wasn’t their physical ability alone that led to Olympic victory 4 times in a row; other factors were at work. Their perseverance individually and as a team helped them rise to such a feat.

Many people helped them maintain that attitude – which included their coaches, family members, supporters, sport psychologists, etc. 

The Gold Medal game of the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team was the event that stood out to me for the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Countless displays of perseverance were shown from all of our amazing Canadian athletes at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

To all of our athletes, THANK YOU! Thank you for your stellar performances and for showing us how to steadfastly believe in ourselves, despite whatever obstacles come our way!

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Just like the passing of the flame, how do we light the torch of perseverance within our daily lives as we move forward from the Olympics?

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!

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7 Responses to A Letter to the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team

  1. Jacqueline

    Yay for Canada! Also, I’ve been super busy and just got back from NY but wanted to write you back about your visit. So bummed that you won’t be able to make it out in March but super excited for you and the opportunity you have.

    You said you’ll be free in June? Hope it works out for us to officially meet this year! At the very least, are you up for a skype date this week?

    Big hugs, Jackie

    Jacqueline E. Boone [image: Facebook] Facebook[image: Twitter] Twitter[image: Website] Website [image: Pinterest] Pinterest

  2. txa1265

    The great thing about the Olympics is cheering on all of the great athletes, whether or not they represent your own country. What I love about the women’s hockey is that it isn’t NHL vs. NHL, but team vs. team. And while I would have preferred a different outcome, I love a great game and great story – and that is what we got.

    • Arianna Merritt, M. Ed.

      I agree – there were so many inspiring stories from athletes all around the world. I love Women’s hockey too because of the same reason. The Americans played such a strong game – I thought they had it. Both teams showed about perseverance – thank you for reading and commenting :)

  3. Janet

    Congrats to all the Canadians. Whoo hoo! I agree with you Arianna on the article you said it best. I watched the highlights of the figure skating and listening to other people get so excited what they saw. The Canadians showed excellent sportmanship too. The women’s hockey is unbelievable!!! Sometimes people talk about it on the bus too. It is a real community how strangers just talk. We sure learned a lot in so little time with people. Way to go Canadians!

    • Arianna Merritt, M. Ed.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Janet! For almost all interviews, after their performances the athletes mentioned perseverance and believing in yourself. I love sport brings many people together and connects us through shared experience.
      I loved how they passed on inspiring notes to each other to show their support too. It showed that regardless of what individual sport they were competing in, they all represented and were part of the same team: TEAM CANADA :)

  4. ls

    Great post! Loved how you connected how Canada’s climate is good for teaching us to be thankful for what we have! To turn snowfalls and ice into fantastic feats in our own backyards as well as the world’s. Thanks for reminding us about all the wonderful stories of Sochi.

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