The Olympic Spirit and High Performance

As the Olympics wind down, I’ve reflected on what it takes to be a high performing Olympian. The early August debut on PBS of The Boys of 36, is a powerful story on many fronts that speaks to the spirit of high performance and hope.

This University of Washington team was against all odds to compete on the world stage. Powerhouse teams from Germany, and the proven elite of the Ivy League made winning a formidable challenge to say the least. Furthermore, the U.S. was focused on reviving itself post-Depression.

They went through rigorous training, honed their skills and bodies. The shells became their homes.

Yet, this team, comprised of unexpected athletes, rose above all of what I call the influencers: social, emotional, physical, geographical, mental and even spiritual to achieve Gold. The hallmarks of great teams: selfless, acceptance, trust, accountability manifested themselves throughout their journey.

High performing teams realize their goals when their values are aligned with their overall mission. The Boys of ’36 saw opportunities and choice, not defeat, but Gold and a country that needed a “kick in the pants” rallying cry!