Four Year Dreams

The scenery helping to make the racers look good

In my youth I often dreamed that I would earn the opportunity to compete in the Winter Olympics (an honest youthful fantasy).  I was a cross-country skier which was an obscure enough sport to make my chances more reasonable than dreaming about a career in professional sports.  The announcement that the Winter Olympics would receive a bonus games in 1994 to create a two-year off-set from the Summer Olympics seemed like a great opportunity for hopeful Winter Olympians.  There would be three Winter Olympic games in the the decade of the nineties to achieve the one-time reconfiguration.  Teammates of mine were selected to represent the US and skied in the Olympics and I never made an impression at the national level and the games represented a distant mountain range looming on the horizon but separated by far too much ground to reasonably consider journeying towards their base.  Four year cycles would pass repeatedly and at least one or two of the competitors representing the US cross-country team were individuals I had competed with in college or at other events.  With the conclusion of the games in Sochi I see the last of the gang making their final appearances in race bibs with the five interlocked circles.  I am awed by their commitment and dedication.  They have focused their efforts on an enterprise that receives two-weeks of national exposure every four years (if they are lucky).

It makes me wonder what is worth our time and effort if we were granted a brief moment on the world’s stage.  If you were nominated for a TED Talk every four-years, what would be your focus?  What message would you share?  What impact would you hope to have on the audience?  What would be your gold medal moment?  What will you be doing four-years from now?

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