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Opinion

The three stories that inspired me this Olympic Games

Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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8th August, 2021
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The Olympics has been on the TV at my house for hours everyday.

I think I have seen most events and have gained a much better understanding of how many of these events work. I appreciate the sports and will watch most of them.

However, to me, the most inspiration I get is from the athletes themselves. Here are three stories that inspired me.

Nicola McDermott overcame bullying to rise above two metres and claim the silver medal for Australia. To hear her speak openly of her faith showed that what really matters is a person’s grounding, and that each person needs to have a higher focus on their future than just him or herself.

Whether or not a person has the same faith as McDermott, each person should be inspired by the impact that her faith has had on her life and her sport.

Watching her joy in simply being at the Olympics reminded everyone that the greatest importance is in how a person participates in the sport.

Her joy was infectious, rubbing off on all others around her and her interview revealed her clear joy at being involved in Tokyo. Best wishes for her in Paris 2024.

(Photo by Getty Images)

The Boomers overcame decades of history to finally win a medal at the Olympics. From Luc Longley to Andrew Gaze to Patty Mills, there have been so many Boomers players who have gallantly represented Australia with little to show for it.

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Finally, thanks to a 42-point game from Mills, the Boomers have a medal. The medal demonstrates the commitment of players over three generations of the sport to improving Australian basketball to match it with the best.

These games saw Mills pick up a new deal with Brooklyn and Jock Landale sign a deal with San Antonio. It helps playing well against his future coach.

The Boomers should provide inspiration for anyone seeking to overcome substantial odds over a long period of time either in their sports teams or in life. The Boomers for gold over Team USA in Paris as a fitting send-off for Mills and Joe Ingles.

Japan and the International Olympic Committee have seen their decision to delay the games pay off. They paid off through the enormous amount of entertainment they provided, the storylines that were generated and the inspiring moments.

Who can forget Cedric Dubler, Emma McKeon, Eliud Kipchoge or Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi sharing gold?

Emma McKeon celebrates after winning the Women's 50m Freestyle Final.

(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

The spirit of the games shone out stronger than ever despite the delay. While Sydney may have been the best games (at least until London 2012), Tokyo 2020 provided the greatest feel-good story.

From Olympians who beat cancer, a lack of doping scandals and the athletes simply beating COVID-19 to be able to play, these Olympics have demonstrated the true Olympic spirit of ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.

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The encouragement that these Games provided for locked-down parts of Australia was enormous and for everybody all over the world struggling through COVID or other problems it was the tonic that the world needed.

I have been inspired by these Olympics to go faster, to aim higher and to become stronger in all that I aspire to be. The world can be a wearying place during a pandemic.

May these Olympics inspire everyone to become better versions of themselves whether they find faith like McDermott, overcome decades of history like the Boomers or provide encouragement for others through the kindness that they demonstrate towards others every day.

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