“Did I win?” she asked.
Yes at 44:26.42, Kristin Armstrong had indeed won the gold medal. And then, she fell to the ground. Beijing, London, and now Rio de Janeiro, Armstrong became the first American woman to win the gold medal three times in the same event. And at age 43, the oldest female Olympic cycling champion.
It was not a perfect cycling day; heavy rains, strong winds, and an unexpected nosebleed made the 18.6 mile course even more challenging. “That last 5K, I knew it was close, and my coach behind me said, ‘you better decide what color medal you want today.’” And with that Armstrong decided exactly what color medal she wanted – GOLD!
TALK ABOUT PERSEVERANCE – The journey to gold wasn’t without challenges, setbacks and injuries. Armstrong had to take a three-year break after the 2012 London Olympics to deal with multiple hip surgeries.
“You can set a goal and accomplish anything you want. It doesn’t matter your age. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. I believe it comes between the ears. I believe it’s in your head,” said Armstrong.
“Mama, why are you crying?’ ”Armstrong said at a news conference. “And I stopped and he said, ‘You won.’ I said yeah, and he said, ‘So why are you crying?’
“I said, wow, another life lesson to teach my son. Why is it that we cry when we’re overwhelmed with happiness and joy?”
The Next Leap Forward
Armstrong is so right – you can accomplish anything you want – if you want it badly enough that is. She is also correct in that it is ‘in our heads’. While in pursuit of your dreams – and along the way life happens. We can expect those ‘life moments’ to disturb our momentum, trip us up even – but it’s how you handle those life moments that will determine whether you win your own gold medal. Let nothing stop you friends while in pursuit of your dreams.