The Rio 2016 Olympic games brought with it many tear-jerking stories about athletes from around the globe who despite adversity, were able to make it onto the world stage. They battled it out with some of the best in their sports.
From winners such as Simone Biles to 19-year old Yusra Mardini, the face of the Refugee team, the stories have been endless. These stories however have taught us that Olympic games are more than just the medals won and the glories gained. The Olympics is a motivational platform, a vision board and a life-coaching seminar. It offers so much inspiration to us the supporters who sometimes look at these athletes and think of ourselves as inadequate.
As Rio 2016 comes to an end, we pause for just a while to say thank you to all of the Caribbean Female athletes who went in, did their best and taught us a few lessons while doing so. These Caribbean girls and women brought us a height of inspiration that must be pointed out.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)
More than the awesome body goals that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce gave to us, she taught us two qualities that every Caribbean woman should strive for: Grace and strength. Her genuineness and dedication amidst difficulties were what shinned throughout her Rio2016 performances.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist fondly referred to as 'pocket rocket' has already made it to the pages of Jamaican and world history. In spite of nursing a toe injury throughout the season, Shelly-Ann showed up and she showed off and by that we are truly inspired.
Cleopatra Borel (Trinidad and Tobago)
Cleopatra Borel has been regarded by her international competitors as "an ever – present threat for capturing 'gold' whenever she competes." The Rio2016 athlete who started off running switched to shot-put which is now her area of specialty. Having appeared in the Olympics three times, this 37 year old wife and coach has done nothing more than amaze. She brought true passion we could relate to when she broke into tears after making it into the Women's Shot Put Finals.
Shaunae Miller (Bahamas)
Shaunae Miller dove into first place at the Women's 400m Final during the Rio 2016 games. Her controversial move has raised much question about the validity of her win but we can't help but see the beauty of determination that resides in Shaunae after she took that dive and won gold for the Bahamas. Shaunae's dive taught us that some goals are worth fighting for and if we give it our all, we will reap the rewards.
Lavern Spencer (St. Lucia)
St. Lucia's sweetheart earned the country a spot in the Women's high jump finals for the first time in the country's history. The 32 year old who has been high-jumping from an early age created history for the small island. Her drive and love for the sport that she plays so well is an inspiration for many of us Caribbean women today. As many athletes do, she came down a little hard on herself after not having landed a medal in the final. We saw her passion though, and that inspired us. Lesson of inspiration: Find something you're passionate about and give it your best.
Elaine Thompson (Jamaica)
Elaine took Jamaica and the Caribbean by surprise when she jetted off to claim goal at two athletic finals during the Rio 2016 games. Not only did this 24-year-old wow a region, but she did it draped in humility. Thank you Elaine for inspiring us to continue being humble in all our pursuits.
Akela Jones (Barbados)
Although finishing 20th overall in the Women's Heptathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Akela Jones' drive left her with a support from her country Barbados. The 21-year-old won gold in the long jump at the 2014 World Junior Championships. In 2015, she was the NCAA champion in the heptathlon and won bronze in the high jump at the Pan American Games. Her drive and the support of her nations leaves us with the realization that as winners, we need to believe in the power of our dreams but also, we need an amazing support system. Comments that flooded social media in support of Jones included:
Well done, but I thought there were others in this event. Next time 2020 it will be gold.
Akela needs to know how proud we are of her.
Well done Akela, you really represented 246 and I'm veeeery proud of you. You did your best against some of the best and you are my winner. Determination seldom fails and I look forward to seeing you in 2020. Congrats again and good luck in your future endeavors.
Being able to make it onto a world stage takes lots of sacrifice and discipline; so it is with many of our goals and dreams. We have to work hard over time to see them become a reality. These ladies are just a few of those who have sacrificed so much to make our Caribbean proud.
What are you fighting to accomplish in your life?
Take a lesson from the pages written by these beautiful Caribbean girls and women.