Another Olympics Comes to an End

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Another Olympics Comes to an End

This past weekend has been a whirlwind. I had the honor of being part of an USOC event that brought together a bunch of Olympians from different sports in Lake Placid, New York. Among them were Charlie White and Meryl Davis who won the Gold Medal in figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Sasha Cohen who also is an incredible figure skater that competed in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and Eric Heiden who competed with me in 1980. Eric was there with his family; the first time he had been back to Lake Placid since he won 5 gold medals on the skating oval. Once you are an Olympian you are always an Olympian, it becomes part of your identity. The connection that Eric and I built by supporting each other and being each other’s fans during those games was felt immediately, it was like no time had passed. The Olympic village is such a unique place where all the best athletes in the world come together and forget about all the chaos going on in the world. We are fans of each other, supporting one and other when we had the chance. He shared a story about how the day of his big race he woke up to a knock on the door from his coach because he had overslept. He admits it was because he was at our game against the Russians and he knew he was watching history unfold and couldn’t bring himself to leave such a pivotal moment in sports history. Later that day he put on the best performance of his life and later we celebrated in the streets together being Olympic Gold Medalists. The comradery between the athletes in the Olympic village is something that is remarkable. We all understand that to get to the Olympics we all have gone through hard ships, struggles, victories, and sacrifices. I am so proud of all our Olympic athletes that went out and played their hearts out. It has been a pleasure and honor to watch a lot of them live out their dreams. The closing ceremonies is always a difficult time. Our team in 1980 was a family, closer than any team that I have ever been a part of. Once the games end everyone goes their separate ways and life continues. Although the games come to an end our team will forever be a family. Each athlete leaves a legacy that inspires a younger generation, whether you know it at the time or not. What we did in 1980 inspired athletes who competed at the Pyeongchang Olympics and those athletes are inspiring the next athletes to not only dream big but to go after their dreams and that anything is possible. Now that the Olympics are over, it is time to give the same love and support to the 2018 Winter Paralympics that will begin Thursday, March 8th. These athletes have incredible stories and are role models for all athletes around the world. Good luck to all the athletes preparing to compete, I can’t wait to watch!

Best,
Jimmy

 

 

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