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The London 2012 Olympic Games was concluded in my backyard recently. I call it my backyard because the Olympic Village is 15 minutes walk from my house. The hype built around the event was massive. I remember looking through our local Newspaper; Waltham Forest News and was amazed to see the picture of my wife and children welcoming the Olympic torch to our community.

During the Olympic events, records were broken and new ones were set. During the Games also, talents were discovered, and some recovered. Recovered because, there were certain talents that have been written off but ended up winning medals. This goes to show that people who defy other people’s negative opinions about them end up winning in life; they do not just win in life but also defeat the odds of life. Defeating the odds of life comes with the right character. Character is the combination of traits and qualities that define distinguishing factors. To beat the odd, you must have the gut; to have the gut, you must overcome the‘buts’. There is every reason to sit in limbo and make excuses for the feeble. We will all remain feeble until we get up to run the races that will take us to the statuses we’ve ever imagined. Success remains in the imagination until action is taken to ensure manifestation. Winning in life remains illusion until someone runs with the vision. If you don’t want your vision to be oblivious, you must defy the odds. Those who keep seeing the odds grow old unfulfilled. There were lots of athletes who came to the London 2012 Olympic Games to see the odds. They participated but won nothing. Even if it’s often said that the spirit of the Olympics is the spirit of participation, the truth about the games of life is that people hardly recall the names of participators; champions are only recalled. There were many nations that showed up in the opening ceremony; some of them, we cannot remember. In life, participation only makes up the number. If you are in life just to make up the number, you cannot be a winner. The people who make up the number only determine to cross the finishing line. I am of a very strong opinion that it is not enough to cross the finishing line; crossing the line before other people makes you a winner in a competitive world. How many of those athletes who took part in the recently completed Olympic Games crossed the finishing line but won nothing? To become a champ, you must increase your speed; to become a champ, you must upgrade your skills. If you remain static, you will remain rigid. Fluidity rules the world of versatility; mobility rules the world of flexibility. Champs change their levels by beating their pasts. Usain Bolt beat his past by taking five seconds off the record he set in Beijing Olympic Games during the recent Olympic Games. That’s what it takes to be a true champ!

pix Laura Trott

If I forget every athlete in the London 2012 Olympic Games, I can’t forget Laura Trott; a 20 year old British Cyclist who won two gold medals during the Games. Laura was born premature and spent six weeks in intensive care because she suffered from collapsed lung. As a result of this, she became asthmatic as a young girl. The Doctors advised that she should embrace sports especially swimming in order to strengthen her body. At the age of eight, she swapped swimming for cycling. In 2010 European championship, she won gold. In 2012 Olympic Games, she won two gold medals. She did not just overcome asthma, but also overcame defeats. Some people in her position may have stopped cycling when the asthmatic condition disappeared, but her target was to be a champion, and she became one. What is your target? You can only be a champ if you exceed the recommended dosage; I speak symbolically. Life always recommends average. It is your responsibility to exceed the general standards. What is general cannot take you beyond what everyone gets. The reality about life is that for the scarce resources to reach everyone, it must be averagely distributed. But those who go the extra mile discover what is unavailable to and for everyone. Everyone cannot be a champ because not everyone will do what it takes to be a champ. Do you want to be a champ; do you have what it takes to be a champ?

Originally published in the defunct AYAKA Magazine

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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