MILLIONS of eyes are glued to screen this month as countries all over the world compete in the biggest sporting event and to watch the biggest names in the arena do their best, not for a grand prize win but for gold medals that symbolise their prowess in their respective sports.
It would be every athlete's dream to be able to compete in such a prestigious event and despite some participants not exactly able to put up a close fight with the very best, their participation in itself is already evidence of their sporting spirit.
This time around, there are a few amazing circumstances to note. Firstly, the participation of Muslim women who still abide by Islamic dress code. It was a pleasant surprise to see women in long pants, long sleeves and hair covered participating in events such as fencing and track and field. I don't remember coming across very many in previous games but I definitely noticed more this year.
Often misunderstood as symbols of oppression, these women showed the world that they choose to participate and stand firm with their faith.
Jokes about aerodynamics aside, I found this not just a relief but I found that it could possibly be incredibly motivating to Muslim women all over.
One can be involved in sports and not have to run around in skimpy shorts and exposed skin. Muslim women aren't necessarily confined to the walls of their homes, helplessly sentenced to a sedentary lifestyle forevermore.
And there are the tales of Muslim athletes who trained and competed during the month of Ramadhan. To most, this would be unheard of but again is a testament to how these professionals can incorporate their sessions into the fasting month.
All the while, there are plenty of us who moan and groan about feeling weak and/or sleepy during this period and barely make time for something as important as exercise.
I've met people who go to work in the morning, break the fast with their families, perform tarawih prayers and still make it to the gym in the evenings.
Time management is one of the crucial factors here. And if there's a lesson one can derive from seeing amputee athletes competing in the Olympics is that we are only as good as we allow ourselves to believe we are.
Don't just stare in awe at the sporting stars on TV. Aspire to be better than they are, pick up a sport you find interesting or find out more behind an olympian's success.
The olympics isn't just about medal tallies. It's about showcasing the limits of the human body, the power of the human spirit and the warmth of sportsmanship.
While not all of us may one day share the field, track or arena with an olympian, the fact that we choose to test the limits of our own bodies, persevere with our own sporting spirit and show others sportsmanship, we're already walking on the same olympian path.
The Brunei Times
Monday, August 6, 2012
Feel free to comment on this article using your Facebook account. By submitting your comment, you agree to the Terms and Conditions for the use of this comments feature, as stated here.