Advice From Olympians We Want To Be
Teach us HOW.
So everyone’s addicted to the Rio Olympics at the moment, obviously… what’s not to love?! You’ve got the most talented people in the world running, jumping, swimming, cycling, lifting and somersaulting all over the place… it’s the most exciting sporting event in the world! There’s definitely something at the Olympics for everyone, even if your idea of being active is walking to and from your fridge.
But we don’t just watch the Olympics for the sport – we watch it for all the human stories behind it. That’s because we KNOW how hard it would be to get anywhere near Olympic standard at anything (we’ve given the chocolate-eating training a good go, and we’re still not qualifying), and FAIRPLAY to them for being so damn hard-working and committed. We’re witnessing one of the biggest moments of their lives where everything they have worked up to for so many years will finally either succeed or fail, but either way we want to be there to cheer them on.
In fact, the more we watch, the more we want to know their super-human secrets.
So let’s take a look at how 10 of our Rio Olympic pals motivate themselves. Cos whatever they’re doing, IT’S WORKING, and we want a slice of the advice.
1. Oscar Figueroa
Professional muscley-man Oscar Figueroa is a weight-lifter from Colombia who (BTW) just went and bagged a gold medal in the men’s 62kg Olympic weight-lifting. He lifted a total weight of 318kg. JEEEEZ. That’s 50 stone… the same as lifting five 16-year-olds all at once…
The only thing that could destroy this guy is kryptonite. Maybe.
“You need to have guts when you’re up against it. You need a dream, a goal and above all your family”
2. Michael Phelps
So you might have heard that Michael has recently become a country all by himself. “Wtf?” you may ask. Well basically, after winning his 21st gold swimming medal, it was announced that if Phelps was a country, that country would be 39th in the all-time Olympic gold medal table. We’d deffo take a long holiday to Phelpsland… think of the water parks.
There’s career success, and then there’s Michael Phelps. He’s the most decorated Olympian ever, and truly one of a kind. What can we do to be more like you, Mike???
“Don't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.”
3. Usain Bolt
He’s the man with the lightening feet and the best banter around. Usain Bolt is a long-limbed cheeky chappy from Jamaica who has won countless titles and is said to be the fastest human to ever walk (or, rather, sprint) the planet. Casual.
He has confirmed that this will be his final Olympics, but he’s pretty confident he will manage to keep his titles and win all three running races to receive his “Triple-Triple” gold dream. He’s actually pretty arrogant, but in a fantastic way.
But give us some inspiration, Usain!
“I work hard, and I do good, and I’m going to enjoy myself. I’m not going to let you restrict me.”
DO THE POSE USAIN, DO THE POSE!
4. Missy Franklin
She’s the 21-year-old American darling who conquered the London Olympics, nabbing a total of four swimming gold medals (bit greedy).
Despite being super talented, Missy has gotten off to a shaky start at Rio, and failed to qualify for the 200m freestyle final.
BUT she’s still 100% more talented than most people in the world… and we would go to great lengths to be like her. Besides, she’s here to give us all one of the best inspirational quotes we’ve heard in a while.
“There is something beautiful about waking up before everyone to get better at what we love.”
Oh Missy, we want that beautiful life. We’re just not morning people.
5. Kevin Durant
Kevin plays basketball for the USA, which means he was part of the very BEST team at the London Olympics – they got the gold.
He’s also a bit of a giant, whilst being super agile at the same time, which is a skill in itself. Apparently he likes to deny being 7ft tall, claiming that he is 6ft 9inches, which has seemed to get everyone rather riled up… just own it Kevin. We won’t love you any less.
What’s Kevin got for us?
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Slam Dunk Kevin. Slam Dunk.
6. Andy Murray
Is he the best sportsman of all time??? We like to think so, because he’s made us so damn proud to be British recently. He’s the tennis-playing, Wimbledon-winning gent with a sour look but sweet heart, and we’re obsessed.
Good thing he loves us too. Go on Murray, inspire us!
“I used to think that losing made you more hungry and determined, but after my success at the Olympics and the U.S. Open, I realize that winning is the biggest motivation.”
Sorted. Let’s all win from now on #motivation.
7. Jessica Ennis
Is there anything Jessica Ennis can’t do? Maybe she’s not great at singing…?? Naa we wouldn’t be surprised if she’s got the vocal range of Ariana but just doesn’t mention it as it’s NBD. It must be exhausting and time-consuming to be as multi-talented as Jessica. She won the gold at the London Olympics heptathlon, which means she was better than ANYONE IN THE WORLD at SEVEN different disciplines!!
Jessica, r u srious?! WHAT is your secret?!
“I'm proud of the way I've dealt with setbacks. It's hard when you feel down and you think, 'Why is the world doing this to me?' But you have to pick yourself up again. That's what makes you a better athlete.”
8. Gaurika Singh
So Gaurika is swimming at the Rio Olympics for the Nepal team because she was born over there, but she grew up in the UK. Also, SHE’S 13 YEARS OLD.
Yep, she’s the very youngest Olympic competitor at Rio this year, and she’s super modest too, claiming that at her school there are many other talented girls. Girl, you’re at THE OLYMPICS though….
Gaurika was also caught in the horrific Kathmandu earthquake last year that caused devastation and cost almost 9000 lives, but was luckily trapped in a sturdy new building at the time which didn’t collapse. But what’s a life-threatening earthquake to a young girl like Gaurika who took it in her stride, donating and working with charities to help the Nepal victims, while still BOSSING it in the swimming pool.
“I felt so grateful that I was one who survived that whole earthquake, so just to be here to make my country proud is great.”
I.e. Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t live in the past. You can go on to win at life, like Gaurika… SHE’S TOO MUCH.
9. Serena Williams
You MAY have heard of her. She’s the undefeatable Wimbledon champ and full-time sexy woman Serena Williams, and you may even have spotted her in a Beyoncé video at some point. Well, why not?
She’s the world’s number 1 at the moment, and though she’s had a shaky time at the Olympics, she’s such an amazing athlete, cos she always stands up for herself against unjust criticism and sexism in the media. She’s determined that no-one can dictate her limits. God, she’s ace.
When one journalist asked her about being “one of the greatest female athletes of all time”, she replied “I prefer… ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’”. Game, set and match Serena. If that’s not inspirational/ motivational/ feminist goals then we don’t know what is.
10. Nicola Adams
So Nicola is pretty good at boxing. In fact she was the VERY FIRST female boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and she received an MBE for her services to boxing. If she wins gold in Rio she will become the greatest amateur boxer in British history.
Not at all bad Nicky. Not bad at all. She’s now encouraged loads of girls all around the country to take up boxing, by proving that you can be a champ in whichever sport you put your mind to. Plus, she’s now open about the fact that she is attracted to women, but careful to not let it define her, too. Cos why should it. This is what she had to say about it:
“The most important thing is to be honest about yourself. Secrets weigh heavy and it’s when you try to keep everything to yourself that it becomes a burden. You waste energy agonising when you could be living your life and realising your dreams.”
Excuse us while we wipe our eyes, blow our noses, and book that trip to Ibiza we’ve always wanted.
GOODNESS, Olympians really are the best kind of humans out there, aren’t they? So, while we watch these beautiful athletes do their thang in Rio, let’s soak in their brilliance, remember their WOW (words of wisdom) and plan ourselves a future that’s huge, exceptional, and will inspire others to push themselves above and beyond all expectations. The sky’s the limit, guys!