While the Olympic torch may have departed Tokyo after the summer olympics and paralympics, we are still feeling inspired by the dedication and skill the athletes brought to the games. One olympian I can’t stop thinking about is Sifan Hassan. The Dutch runner was favored in the 1500 meter race. The task before her in the preliminary race was clear: put in a solid showing to qualify for the finals, while reserving strength for the final race and her chance at a medal. Then, as Hussan rounded the track in the final lap the unthinkable happened: a runner in front of her stumbled, and Hussan tripped and fell, her Olympic dreams crashing down with her. The split-second decision Hussan made reveals everything about her character. Rather than throwing in the towel, she dug deep. She popped up and laid on the gas, accelerating toward the finish line, overtaking runners who hadn’t fallen. Not only did she qualify for the finals, she won the preliminary heat, and went on to take the bronze medal. From fall to champion in 58 seconds.
Each time we are faced with a setback, disappointment, or crisis, it is a choice to give up or move forward. Character is revealed—and forged—in those moments. Hussan is a reminder that determination is the hallmark of a champion—Olympic and otherwise. See Sifan Hassan remarkable run here.