A few nights ago while watching the Sochi Olympic Games, I had an epiphany. I had competed in one of these fantastic spectacles! It wasn’t on ice or snow, but wow, I…did…that (#IDIDTHAT). The 2012 games in London represented the 16th year that I had thrown a discus! I remember thinking during the Olympic training camps about all the people that I had ever competed with. I remembered those who were better than me at various stages and never made it to the Olympic Games. I also remember many athletes who worked very hard, but sadly were never close.
The journey that every athlete takes to the “big show” is fantastic, filled with pitfalls and relentless recoveries. I doubt that every “great athlete” is even cut out to make it to this point. There are not enough spots. I realized after my first couple of Olympic trials failures that NOBODY “DESERVES” TO MAKE A TEAM. Everyone is working hard; we suffer through tragedies; everyone has struggles; most Olympians have poor financial situations. Unlike the sport of Track and Field, many sports have no chance to make money at all.
Looking at the Olympic competition from an objective view will give you some insight into how motivated we are for making such a huge commitment. My 16 years of work was summed up within 3 throwing attempts or about 3.75 seconds in London! The 16 years leading to that Olympic Games was amazing. Within a blink of the eye, it was all over, and on to the next one!
The video is about what an Olympian in my event will do on a daily basis, minimally. If you’d like to make it to the Olympic Games, be forewarned, from my account the process could take up to 16 years, but EVERY MOMENT IS WORTH IT! I’d been watching the Olympics my whole life, but after being blessed to compete in them, I have a newfound/ enhanced respect for those that can find a way there. Thanks goes out to any and every soul that helped me make it all the way there.
Jason E. Young
Olympian and Author of Discus Dynamics