Medals and motivation


A few years back, Adidas launched a feel-good advertising campaign cheering for the amateur athletes logging their gym time in the wee hours of the morning and late at night, the weekend warriors and life-long junkies fitting sport in around work and family. 

Those people tend every four years to lock the gym TVs on NBC’s Olympics coverage. In awe, and maybe a little jealous, we dial up the weights, stack our plyometric boxes a little higher and sprint that last mile. The Olympics are sport for the sake of sport, and they make us all want to do better, push harder and see if we aren’t just a little stronger, a little faster than we thought.

I’m always disappointed that the Paralympics don’t receive the same blanket coverage the Olympics do—I’d get a whole lot more training done with that double dose of motivation. 

Enter Twitter, which keeps me updated during the day. Without it, I’d be missing the action, including this: Tatyana McFadden, the track star and marathoner, won a silver medal in the 1 km sitting cross-country skiing race Wednesday. 

She started skiing a year ago. 

Maybe it’s because I don’t remain upright for more than 10 seconds on skis, but I can’t get over that. Beginner to Paralympic medalist in a year.

“Everybody is able to do something,” McFadden says. 

Let’s face it: few of us are destined for the podium, but we still strap on our sneakers and run or spend a nice hour jumping on stuff and moving weights around because it’s challenging and it’s fun. If the weather didn’t mandate snow tires, I’d definitely be on my bike. 

For now, I have a new sports hero and that extra motivation I need to get through the last slog of winter. 

Long live sport.