Triumph of spirit

I love mega sporting events. In the space of a few days, they regularly showcase the best of humanity – the warmth of supporters from opposing countries, stunning displays of athleticism, nerves of steel, and spirit from the players. We witnessed all of this in the World Cup and Wimbledon. Since the arrival of 2 kids, I am temporarily just a score + highlights follower. But, my oh my, what scores and highlights they were.

The Wimbledon semi final score line tells the story of the men’s bracket. The athleticism on display from Djokovic and Anderson was something else.

Then again, Serena Williams’ runner up run after giving birth to a baby just 9 months ago takes the gold medal for jaw dropping awesomeness.

And, finally, the world cup had so many wonderful displays of spirit. But, if there was an award for spirit, Croatia would have won it. The Croatian team has faced many trials and tribulations off the court in the past few years with a big corruption scandal. What a way to bounce back. They reached the final following stirring comebacks in every one of their three knock out games – all of which went to extra time. The final, however, was always going to be a mismatch. France’s ridiculously talented side won the world cup despite never really peaking. There’s plenty more to come from this team.

Spirit is a set of qualities that form the key elements of a character of a human. Sporting events such as the World cup and Wimbledon remind us of the power of that spirit. What do such events mean for the rest of us then?

There may be no world cups in our workplaces. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t or can’t showcase spirit. Unlike in the case of such mega sporting events, we are all running the marathon of life. And, the best demonstration of our spirit lies in how we show up everyday – at home and at work.

The world cup is now over. It is on us to take this inspiration and make it count.

The World Cup

I’m not watching the world cup yet. But, I am enjoying following it and I look forward to catching a few of the games toward the end. There have already been exciting moments, upsets, and fascinating stories. For example, defending champions Germany just prevented elimination after their second game witha goal in the 5th minute of extra time. There are going to be many more such moments.

But, it isn’t just the thrills and spills that makes the world cup special. The magic of the world cup lies in its ability to capture our collective imaginations and remind us that, despite the many obvious differences between all of us on display, we can collectively enjoy twenty two strangers trying to kick a ball into a net.

It is absurd. It is human. It is fun.

Lord knows we need more of that…