The will to win: C’est pour toi, Maman


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For 24 years, Joannie had trained to be in this position.  She entered the Olympics, with 12 gold medals in the last 12 consecutive Canadian National Championships.  Along the way she had picked up international medals in China, the Grand Prix, and Russia — competing in 39 different competitions.  She practiced until she turned her 17th place showing at the World Championships into 2nd place just five years later– officially becoming the vice-World Champion.  And now the Olympics.

The stage was set.  Expectations ran high.  Her practices were flawless.

Two days before she was scheduled to perform, just as she was waking up to begin her final practice, she was startled by a surprise visit from her father, Norman.  Her mother, Therese, had just died from a massive heart attack.  The news was shocking and devastating.  Everything she had ever worked for — the practice, the pain, the passion — it all seems to leave her soul as the tears flowed from her eyes.  What deep sorrow.  How could she continue?

Fast forward to Tuesday.  As Joannie takes the ice, the crowd is quiet.  This is their home town girl.  Not sure whether to cry with her or cheer her on to victory, they wait.  And Joannie puts on the performance of a lifetime.

As the opening notes of La Cumparsita dance from the orchestra, Joannie moves to the emotion of the moment.  Every triple Lutz crisp.  Her combinations passionate — as if she were willing herself to win.

When the music is over, Joannie bows, tears streaming uncontrollably down her face.  The crowd stands, wildly applauding.  They seem to know that they were part of a special moment — a perfect three minutes of passion and purpose.

And Joannie, who had inspired so many, had but one thing to say: “C’est pour toi, Maman” (For you, mom…).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Waldschmidt
Speaker, author, strategist, Dan Waldschmidt is a conversation changer. Dan and his team help people arrive at business-changing breakthrough ideas by moving past outdated conventional wisdom, social peer pressure, and the selfish behaviors that stop them from being high performers. The Wall Street Journal calls his blog, Edge of Explosion, one of the Top 7 blogs sales blogs anywhere on the internet and hundreds of his articles on unconventional sales tactics have been published.


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