Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.
Protect their Minds
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young”-1 Timothy 4:12
Protecting their Hearts
My home country Trinidad and Tobago recently took part in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Yes, the Winter Olympics! A Caribbean island with only sun and rain, participated in a snow-based global event. We performed creditably in the bobsleigh event, a race that made our regional neighbours, Jamaica, famous back in 1988 and from which the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings” was born.
However, arguably the biggest talking point of the Winter Olympics, centred on the unfortunate and dramatic events surrounding the teenaged figure skater, Kamila Valieva of Russia. This amazing 15-year-old was a gold medal favourite going into the Games. The expectations were high and, in hindsight, maybe too much to bear.
During the Olympics, the results from a prior drug test came back positive which, predictably, cast a shadow on her performances as well as the conduct of her supporting team. The controversy heightened when she was declared eligible to continue competing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, when unusually persons who fail a drug test would be immediately suspended from further competition.
With global eyes fixed on her, she stumbled multiple times and missed out on a medal in her next event. Fourth place at the Olympics is a tremendous feat, but when you are the favourite, anything but gold tends to be seen as a failure.
BBC Sport, in one report, spoke of the combination of anger and sympathy that arose from the Valieva saga. Many commentators, looking back, believed that the sporting authorities, although well-intentioned, caused her more harm than good. Athletic prowess aside, she is first and foremost a minor with a young heart, fragile emotions and an evolving mind. We should not look down on the young, but at that vulnerable stage in life, often we older ones must protect them from themselves.
Protect their Dreams
There is an innocence, an optimism and a purity about the way that young people dream. Let us play our part in clearing the path for their future.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.