Olympic Perseverance

Alex Voight-Shelley, Staff Writer

Over the past two weeks, the Olympics have shown both triumph and heartbreak through the many competitions. A few specific people made olympic history while going for the gold. They did this not just by training and practice, but also through perseverance. Olympic medalists such as Mikaela Shiffrin, Chloe Kim, Alina Zagitova, and many more are examples of determined people who came to the Olympics from perseverance.


One example is Shaun White. While he was training in New Zealand, he suffered a harsh fall. It took 62 stitches to patch up the large gash in his face. After his fall, he had a tough time deciding whether or not to ever compete again. He was already popular, he didn’t need the money or recognition, so why return at all? White told Los Angeles Times, “It really threw me for a loop. I was, like, do I really want to do this?” Soon however, White had made up his mind. He came back and scored a perfect 100 in the halfpipe to qualify for the Olympics. After coming up short in Sochi, White was determined to compete the best he could. White finished his last run on the halfpipe scoring a 98.5 to win the gold medal for the U.S.A..


Another example is the skating pair from Canada Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The pair have been skating together for 21 years, since they were 7 years old. Four years ago at the 2014 Olympic Winter games in Sochi, Russia, they received the silver medal in ice dancing. They lost to Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White. They took two years off from skating, but missed it too much to stop. They stated, “We were surprised by how much we missed it — we missed the structure of training, the regimented schedule, we missed waking up with a purpose and testing our capabilities.” This year in PyeongChang, they delivered a performance to remember. They received a record breaking 122.4 points in the long skate, totaling another record breaking 206.07 to win the gold medal. They can retire as the most accomplished and medal decorated ice dance team of all time.


A Penn State graduate, Ian Shelley also competed in the Olympics for Great Britain. He said, “I was particularly determined to make the 1992 British Olympic gymnastics team as I had narrowly missed making the previous two Olympics. I was coming to the end of my career, and had realized this would be my last opportunity.  In order to realize my dream, I would have to stop working, return to England, and begin an extensive training program, including multiple competitions that would be used as the Olympic trials. It would prove to be a decision that would pay off after I was selected for the team in June 1992.  After competing in a number of world championships and European championships, the Olympics would be the foremost tournament of my career. It proved to be all that one would expect of the worlds most prestigious tournament, from the lighting of the flame from an archers arrow, to the jovial march in of the closing ceremonies, and everything in between. It would be my last tournament, and the one which would be my most memorable.”


“Shaun White’s Journey to the Olympics Was Almost Halted by a Gruesome Injury.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-sp-olympics-shaun-white-20180210-story.html.


“Skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Their Relationship: It’s ‘Unique’.” CNN, www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/sport/canada-moir-virtue-relationship/index.html.