Aspera ad astra.

Posted by Christopher Waldrop

February 26, 2010 | 1 Comment

Once, during an opening ceremony of the winter Olympics, I heard someone say that many smaller or poorer countries enter even though they have no chance of winning any medals. It’s a remark I hear repeated occasionally and it always irks me. No one can say in advance who will win or lose. Anyone who, during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics, said Latvia or Kazakhstan didn’t have a chance of winning any medals would have been wrong. The only country that doesn’t have a chance of winning any medals is one that doesn’t send any athletes to the Olympics. The only athlete or team that we can say with absolute certainty won’t win is the one that doesn’t enter.

There was a time when I wanted to be an astronaut. Looking back I realize no one encouraged me, no one said I could. I heard plenty of reasons why I couldn’t, why it would never be possible, why I shouldn’t even try. In the end my life went another direction, because I made other decisions, because there were other things I wanted. I didn’t become an astronaut because I couldn’t, but because I chose to pursue other dreams instead. Maybe that’s why this particular commercial, even though it’s just a commercial, moves me so deeply every time I see it.


Comments

1 Comment so far

  1. James on March 10, 2010 4:45 pm

    I can’t view the video clip above, but yes I agree everyone has a chance at the olympics. I remember watching a powerboat race once (4 boats, and clearly not in the olympics), but the favorite broke down and the other two crashed into each other avoiding the broken down leader. The pitiful fourth boat (using an outdated engine) chugged along and “won” the race.

    Shame to hear about the lack of encouragement in your early years. What dream do you have now that you have yet to pursue?

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