Health & Wellness

10 lessons we can learn from the Rio Olympics

August 13, 2016

It is Olympic Games year and the build up to the 2016 Games in Rio has not been smooth.  The Rio Olympics have experienced problems with construction, health issues such as the zika virus and water quality plus political unrest which all threatened to sabotage the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio Olympics

During the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony many in the media were questioning whether the Games were still relevant and whether they were worth the money invested. Especially as the host nation who has an under-performing economy.

There was criticism of the preparations, drug use and of course even after the Games started more about drug cheats and even the diving pool turned GREEN overnight!


I don’t usually watch the opening ceremony however, the television was on and I thought I would watch it while waiting for visitors to arrive.

I had only intended to see the first half an hour however as each country was announced I became more involved and inspired by the lack of politics and the overwhelming happiness and enthusiasm of the athletes and officials.

I especially loved the Refugee Team who received one of the loudest cheers as they entered the arena in the Opening Ceremony.

I’ve been watching the Games when time permits and have learned a few lessons that could be transferred to all of our lives.

10 lessons we can all learn from the Rio Olympics

1. Anything worthwhile takes commitment

Years of training and commitment is required from all of the athletes to achieve their dream.  Vigorous training programs, early morning starts, special diets not just for months but years of their lives to strive for the highest honour in their sport is a lesson in determination and commitment to us all.

A special mention to the parents of Olympians or all children involved in sports who provide the unconditional love and support and financial assistance to help their children achieve their dreams.

2. Your used by date is not necessarily when you think it is

What a legend Michael Phelps is!  Making a comeback in his fifth Olympics at an age when swimmers have certainly retired.  His strength of mind and body has given him 22 gold medals to date and the record of having one the same event at four Olympics in a row.

I actually have to admit that in the past I thought he was arrogant however that is not the case.  He is an athlete  who has made mistakes but shows that you can come back and achieve more than is expected of you.  I was moved seeing him on the dais with his family in the crowd and genuine tears of joy in his eyes.

Another competitor in the Cycling, Kristin Armstrong, turned 43 during the games, has a 5 year old son and works full time, still managed to win Gold at three consecutive games.

3. Borders can be broken

Watching the Opening Ceremony and the camaraderie between the participants and team officials proves that borders can be broken.  Politics and the angry world we live in are pushed aside we can be united as one.  We need to remember this once the Games have finished and life returns to normal.

4. How to be a winner

I love watching winners who are humble.  It is easy to win – we get what we want. But, being a Winner is not that easy sometimes.  True winners know how to behave and don’t always believe their own publicity.

5. How to handle defeat

It takes strength of character to accept defeat.  I feel for the athletes who have come into the Games with great expectation on their shoulders.  They have been performing well and perhaps have set records in previous meets.  However, things can go wrong and I truly admire those who have been defeated and feel devastated but still make themselves available to the press after the race.  They don’t make excuses or say it isn’t fair.  They just accept the bitter taste of defeat and move on – no matter how difficult that might be.

6. Just do your best

Many of the participants won’t place and some come so agonisingly close to winning a medal.  We can’t always win but as long as we know we have tried our best nothing more can be asked of us.

7. You CAN achieve your dream

The Fiji Rugby Sevens team won a gold medal and made history.  It was the first medal of any colour that Fiji has ever won at the Olympic Games.  After 14 Olympics Fiji has finally won a medal!  The Fijian Government declared two days of public holidays – one to watch the final and one to celebrate the win.  The joy on the faces of not only the players but the spectators and the whole of Fiji was so touching.  Dreams can be achieved.

8. You can overcome obstacles

The Olympic Refugee Team prove that you can overcome obstacles in life and are a great  inspiration to us all.  10 refugees from 4 different countries have come together to form a team and prove that with courage and belief you can conquer whatever life throws at you.  They are truly role models to us all.

9. Life can be a roller coaster ride

There are so many emotions that we see when watching the Olympics.  The highest of highs to the lows.  An Australian cyclist had a bad fall in during training at the velodrome and after years of training may not even make her event.

10. Nothing in life is certain

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go to plan and nothing is certain. I was watching the 100 metres Women’s Swimming Final and it featured two Australian sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell.

Of course, as an Australian I was eager to see how they would perform and in fact they were expected to both place.  Cate had set a world record in the event only a month ago. I was listening to the Australian commentators building up their chances and thought ‘wow! what pressure these swimmers are under to perform’. Neither placed and it was a heartbreaking moment for them both.

There has been plenty of negative commentary about the Olympics and the host nation, however, when it all starts the negativity is pushed aside and we can enjoy two weeks of positive and inspirational moments.

I do have one question though – how do they keep those skimpy bottoms and tops from revealing all when they are playing beach volleyball?


Let’s Keep Sizzling!








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  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt August 13, 2016 at 13:18

    Love your commentary on this part of the Olympics, Sue! Your post is relevant and timely and shows what a great writer you are! I’ve got a post in the works for next week for the 3 Day quote challenge 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 13, 2016 at 13:40

      Oh thank you Terri! You always make me feel so good about my writing. Yes the Olympics is a popular subject at the moment but we can all learn something from them and not just about sport. Can’t wait to read your quotes.

  • Reply Toni Pike August 13, 2016 at 17:32

    What a great article Sue! I often look at the Olympics and thought that it had no relevance for me. This has proved me wrong.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 15, 2016 at 12:03

      Glad you enjoyed it Toni. There are always negatives as well but I wanted to focus on the positives.

  • Reply Lori August 13, 2016 at 22:19

    These are great lessons learned from the Olympics. I especially like that we don’t have an expiration date!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 15, 2016 at 12:04

      Me too Lori and since I wrote this I’m still seeing ‘older’ competitors in their 30s which is great. At one time you were finished in your mid 20s!

  • Reply Fran Back With a Bump August 15, 2016 at 18:23

    Great post and very true. Most things if you work hard enough can come true! #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 07:39

      Glad you enjoyed it Fran!

  • Reply Lins @ Boo & Maddie August 15, 2016 at 19:13

    I love this post, I am one of the biggest advocates of the Olympics and have been addicted to it ever since I was a little girl. I think that there are always so many positives to take away from it and in these troubled global times we live in, there is so much to be said for bringing nations together. I will miss it when it finishes X #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 07:40

      I love the Olympics as well and as you say in these troubled global times it is great to see everyone together and connected by their passion for their sport. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Jennifer August 15, 2016 at 21:35

    It’s been thrilling to watch and yes, those are all lessons to be learned.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 07:41

      Yes I love the Olympics Jennifer although in Australia, the time zone means lots of late nights or watching the replays LOL:)

  • Reply Rica@ Yoga Mat Monkey August 16, 2016 at 03:51

    Wonderful post, Sue! And I especially love the second point. Our “use by dates” are merely self-imposed limits. Thanks for sharing another inspiring round up of thoughts. 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 07:42

      I know Rica! I keep seeing more athletes since I wrote the post who are in their 30s achieving their dreams. It used to be that competitors retired in their early 20s but not anymore! Bring on the Masters Games for me!

  • Reply Alison (MadHouseMum) August 16, 2016 at 05:52

    I love this focus on the positives of the Olympics. I am always totally inspired by what I see and you pick out some really good points – including the one about the skimpy clothing! Alison x #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 07:44

      I know Alison. There have been negatives quickly pointed out, even this morning a TV camera fell and injured a couple of people. However, the positives that we can take away certainly outweigh the negatives. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Peggy August 16, 2016 at 07:58

    I admit it, I haven’t been watching the olympics. I’m not a fan of what and how NBC is doing the broadcast and I don’t think they’ll be changing their format anytime soon. I’m appalled at how female athletes are relegated to who their husband is comparing their accomplishment to a male athlete (bravo to Simone Biles for telling everyone she’s the FIRST Simone Biles!)

    When will women be applauded and exalted for their accomplishments in the arena rather than who they married or what they’re wearing?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 08:09

      Oh I haven’t seen that and in Australia we have to keep flipping between channels which is frustrating. I can’t believe that women athletes are still treated this way! However, I do just enjoy watching all athletes giving it their best and admire all of their commitment.

  • Reply Bren Pace August 16, 2016 at 08:33

    Hi Sue,

    Are you sure you shouldn’t be a newscaster? LOL For someone who doesn’t pay attention to the Olympics, ME, it’s interesting to get a rundown like you just shared. Plus you added that spunky sense of humor to it. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing it with us!


    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 16, 2016 at 08:52

      Oh perhaps I should be LOL:) I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post and my humour! Have a great day!

  • Reply Rosemond August 16, 2016 at 18:24

    Love it! I enjoy learning the stories of the athletes almost more than their competitions. the stories you mentioned the refugee swimmer,the 43 year old cyclist, they inspire me and remind me of the power we all have to realize our dreams if we work hard enough.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:37

      Yes Rosie, I enjoy learning about the athletes and some in particular have wonderful back stories of courage and determination. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post as I wasn’t sure whether to write it or not.

  • Reply Carol Cassara August 17, 2016 at 00:13

    Also I learned that some people can defy gravity in the way they hurl their bodies around! I bow to the commitment of these young athletes. And not so young ones.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:38

      I know Carol I was watching the pole vault and I just don’t know how that pole can get them up over the bar! Their bodies are just so flexilbe! Alas, mine isn’t anymore but I am inspired by their commitment to their pursuit of excellence.

  • Reply Mary August 17, 2016 at 00:57

    I love the Olympics! My husband even takes his vacation during this time so we can watch as many events as possible.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:40

      Well you are both very devoted! I can relate to that and because I’m retired now I don’t have to worry about missing any of it. We are having the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast where I live in 2018 so I’m definitely going to a few of the events that is for sure.

  • Reply Helene Cohen Bludman August 17, 2016 at 01:04

    Those are indeed valuable lessons. I have been watching every night and I know I’ll be sorry, as always, when the Games are over.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:41

      Yes Helene you can take time out from the news and politics and just enjoy watching people who are dedicated to the pursuit of their dreams. So inspiring!

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski August 17, 2016 at 05:02

    Great post Sue, I have been glued to the TV watching the Olympics. It’s been a bastion of peace compared to all the political upheaval going on in the U.S. Even though things haven’t run as smoothly as they could have, I think the Olympics are well worth the cost. The games bring unity to the world and hope for those who have dreams to fulfill. The competitors grow and become smarter as they age and it’s wonderful to watch.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:42

      Hi Rebecca, I know what you mean. In Australia we are getting as much coverage of the US elections as you are! It is great to have a change of pace and watch people who are just trying to do their best and fulfil their dreams. It is a positive influence on us all!

  • Reply Tamara Warner Minton August 17, 2016 at 05:14

    All of those are good lessons, absolutely. I haven’t watched much of it, only women’s volleyball, really. I like the winter games!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:43

      Hi Tamara, yes unfortunately, the Australian team were knocked out and didn’t make the semis but I actually enjoy quite a few of the sports. Winter or Summer Games I enjoy them all.

  • Reply Nancy August 17, 2016 at 13:44

    Love your framing of the event! I enjoy watching… everything but water polo. I just don’t get water polo!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 17, 2016 at 13:48

      No I’m not a water polo fan either Nancy or the synchronized swimming! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply Lois Alter Mark August 17, 2016 at 13:50

    Love these! There are so many lessons to learn from the Olympics and, from the women’s beach volleyball I’m watching right now, I think the biggest is that life can be a roller coaster!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:01

      Thanks Lois – I know that blogging life is a roller coaster that is for sure!!!

  • Reply Erin August 17, 2016 at 21:38

    This was a great read Sue, I really enjoyed it! I haven’t been able to watch a ton of Olympics this year, but I do usually enjoy as much as I can, and for many of the reasons you have pointed out. I have always loved the opening ceremonies and just hearing all the stories of the things the athletes have overcome to get where they are today. It’s really a beautiful thing seeing all the people of the world coming together!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:02

      Thanks Erin! I don’t sit glued to the TV but I do love the personal stories that emerge at each Olympics – so inpsiring.

  • Reply Bun Karyudo August 17, 2016 at 23:40

    This was an interesting theme for a post. I especially liked point 3. I like the idea that we can sometimes transcend borders — something relevant to blogging too, I think.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:13

      Thanks Bun! I agree that we can transcend borders in blogging and make some great connections and friends.

  • Reply Leanne August 18, 2016 at 13:01

    I haven’t seen much of these Olympics for some reason (I think I’m just not in front of the TV very much any more – too busy blogging!) but it was lovely to see the team of refugees and the leaders of countries coming to support their athletes too.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:04

      I know Leanne blogging takes over doesn’t it! I just love the back stories of some of the athletes and have they have overcome the odds to get there and make their dream a reality.

  • Reply Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby August 18, 2016 at 17:00

    What a lovely post! Watching the olympics is not all about watching sport or games alone… It’s great to know, that we can also learn a lot of things from it. You have it all detailed in this post. #LifeLovingLinkie

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:06

      Thanks Cheryl! I was sitting there watching it all and the post just came to me. The Olympics is more than the sports it is about all the other things that an athlete has to do to even get there to achieve their dream. So pleased you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply Wendy August 18, 2016 at 21:01

    We really need the Olympics to be over so we can start sleeping again! Staying up until 1 or 2 AM is killing us, haha! We thought we had everything recorded, then realized we missed the gymnastics All-Around competition — NOOO! Luckily we found a recording elsewhere. 🙂 I love your points and agree with them all. Every time the games roll around, I watch more and more competitions. I thought when the swimming and gymnastics were over, we wouldn’t watch as much…wrong! Still watching! 🙂 And the best part? I haven’t heard/read/seen a single political headline in over a week!!! Hallelujah and angels singing and all that! 🙂 (BTW, I was so sorry when Cate and Bronte didn’t do as well as they wanted. I loved watching them in the ready room – so cute!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 19, 2016 at 09:10

      I know Wendy we can get glued to our seat and watch for hours! I’m glad you found a recording of of the gymnastics. The Olympics let us just take a step out of reality for a couple of weeks and see the good in people. I don’t know how you manage to live through such long political campaigns. We recently had an 8 week one which was the longest we had in Australia and we were all over it by the time election day came around. I loved the attitude of Cate and Bronte – true champions even though they didn’t place. I also loved the camaraderie with all the female swimmers in the ready room #sportmanship

  • Reply Sandra M Bell August 19, 2016 at 22:47

    Haha “regarding the skimpy volleyball outfits” – this may be a sizzling toward 60 thing, but I don’t see how they don’t have terrible wardrobe malfunctions either! Also, love the first point about “anything worthwhile takes commitment.” As a fellow blogger, I know we know this one to the depths of our souls. I also appreciate the “used by date” data as there is nothing I adore more than people going beyond what has been thought possible. I saw a Yahoo post yesterday of a man that lives in India that has made it to 120 years old in excellent health – may we all aim for the moon and beyond!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 20, 2016 at 14:21

      Hi Sandra! Yes I would probably be pulling my pants out of my bottom and worried that I hadn’t waxed enough LOL:) Imagine living to 120 in excellent health? It is all about having the right attitude to life I believe and as you say aim for the moon and beyond. We are the only ones to put limitations on ourselves.

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville August 21, 2016 at 20:11

    some really great points. I wish the politics could be put aside more often!! #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 22, 2016 at 11:34

      Yes I do too Mackenzie!

  • Reply the thing about life is we can't control it #mg - reflections from me August 22, 2016 at 17:48

    […] Most clicked upon post from last week was from Sue at Sizzling Towards Sixty with 10 lessons we can learn from the RIO Olympics  […]

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2016 at 10:40

      Oh my goodness that is great thank you Mackenzie #mg You have made my day!

  • Reply Cathy Lawdanski August 22, 2016 at 20:53

    I was also pleased to see Michael Phelps maturity. He is a team player and has worked so hard. gifted athlete.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2016 at 10:50

      Yes he has matured Cathy – perhaps a wife and son have helped him with this. Such an amazing athlete!

  • Reply Life Loving August 22, 2016 at 22:26

    I loved watching the Olympics. I’m sad it is over. You’re right Sue it was so inspiring. I was lucky enough to attend London 2012 and that will be etched in our memories forever.

    Sally @ Life Loving

    P.s. I also wondered that about the skimpy bottoms. I did see a chap lose his bottom’s temporarily in the diving though.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2016 at 10:51

      Oh yes the diving in – that is another recipe for a wardrobe malfunction! I loved the Games and lucky you going to 2012. We are having the Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast in Australia where I live so I’ll definitely be getting tickets to that!

  • Reply The Savvy Age August 22, 2016 at 23:34

    One does wonder about those “bottoms” and speedos when diving …. waterproof tape :)? #overthemoon

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2016 at 10:52

      I know I’ve never seen a wardrobe malfunction but I think I’d be too worried about that. Perhaps that is why I’ve never made it to the Games as a competitor LOL:)

  • Reply Bill @ The Money Professors August 23, 2016 at 00:23

    Great post! I love tip #1 – anything worthwhile ties commitment. It aligns well with blogging as well!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 23, 2016 at 10:53

      Thanks again Bill! Commitment helps us achieve in all areas of life.

  • Reply upasna August 23, 2016 at 19:55

    I am glad to read the post. Full of “food for thought”
    Some people truly prove that we have no expiry date. You seems to be one of them Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 26, 2016 at 13:38

      Oh thank you Upasna! Yes it is all about attitude. If you feel old you will be old! Have a great day!

  • Reply Alok Singhal August 23, 2016 at 20:58

    Worthwhile lessons, there is learning all around only if we are open to it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 25, 2016 at 06:22

      That is so true Alok. We need to be open to it! Have a lovely day.

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