As I watched nine young ladies nail triple back handsprings and take leaps-of-faith on uneven bars today, I wondered what all of this talent and hard work means for these girls. Everyday, across the U.S., girls like these make the treck to gymnastics classes with hopes of Olympic greatness. High-calibre coaches, high-calibre competition and a collective American exhaltation of the superior athlete, allows these girls opportunities beyond measure.
Undoubtedly, Guam has a good number of young, talented athletes who must compete at mediocre levels with coaches who are giving their hearts and skills, but likely after a full day’s work at their “real job”. For many of these kids, the glimmer of the Olympics and professional sports is very real. They see it on TV and ta-da, they have the carrot before them. I have seen many local kids put in the time and the sweat. They have unbelievable drive and focus. Is this all for nothing? Can a little fish grow big in a tiny bowl?
I cannot answer that question, because I don’t know the answer. Occasionally, my little nine-year-old gymnast will wipe a bead of sweat off her brow and remind me that she is working hard toward her spot on Guam’s Olympic gymnastics team. I smile with a heart that beams for her strength, desire, and optimism–all the while hoping that my eyes do not give away the statistical data.
The girls flying through the air along with my daughter at gym have nothing to fret. Their hard work is helping them to grow strong wings and we all know what happens next–flight!