5 inspiring stories from the Sochi Winter Olympics

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 1.01.03 PMBy Jeremy Homan, Business Development Manager

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” — Olympic creed

Nothing embodies the spirit of competition and sportsmanship like the Olympics. Athletes from around the world devote years for a chance to represent their country in the most prestigious competition in the world. World Champion Boxer Jeff Fenech, when asked about the importance of the Olympics, said “I would swap any World Title to have won gold at the Olympics.”

Olympics athletes inspire us to be great, to never give up, and to be selfless and humble. Here are five inspiring examples of dedication and sportsmanship from the Sochi games.

Sacrificing the Olympic Dream – Tracy Barnes gave up her chance to compete in Sochi to allow her twin sister Lanny, who had lost her chance through illness, to take her place in America’s biathlon team. When asked what she do if she won a medal, Lanny said: “I would not think twice about it. If it happens, I will give it to Tracy.”  Full Story

Cool Runnings 2 – For the first time since 2002, the Jamaican Bobsled team qualified for the Olympics. They overcame lack of funding by raising $130,000 dollars using methods like Crowdtilt and Dogecoin. The team even has their own slogan: “Every underdog needs a sequel.” You can watch them on February 16th at 10:15 AM Central Time.

Shaun White goes for gold – Probably the most popular U.S. winter athlete, Shaun White goes for his third consecutive gold medal in halfpipe today. The finals are scheduled for today at 11:30 AM.

The lone Filipino Winter Olympian – 17-year-old figure skater Michael Christian Martinez is the sole representative of the Philippines, and has the opportunity to win the country’s first winter medal ever. In order to qualify, Michael had to overcome asthma and a series of injuries. You can watch him Thursday, February 13 in the men’s short program. Full Story

Norwegian biathlete medals in 6th Olympics – 40-year-old Ole Einar Bjoerndalen has been called “the greatest Olympic athlete you’ve never heard of.” He entered Sochi with 11 Olympic medals to his name, and won the gold medal last Thursday in the Men’s Sprint. Bjoerndalen is tied with fellow Norwegian cross country legend Bjorn Dahlie for winning the most medals in winter games history. More info.

The Sochi Olympic Games are full of inspiring stories.  What are your favorites?