Five years later, Olympic Games took place and, as usual, major powerful countries won hundreds of medals, hundreds! how is that possible! for instance, the USA won 39 gold medals, China won 38, Japan 27 and then, there were other countries like Mexico that won 4 bronze medals…that’s it… As a Mexican, was this disappointing? Yes… Was it surprising? Not at all… Living in a country where sports aren’t a priority for the majority of the population, I found it fascinating that small countries like Japan or Jamaica won multiple gold medals, it’s like, what are they doing that we aren’t? how do they incentivize interest in sports? There are several factors contributing to this: education, family, government, political interests, etc., it’s not always the athletes’ fault. I was reading stories about a Mexican gymnast that ended in 5th place in vault and this was historic, unexpected for a Mexican, and maybe something it won’t happen in the next 20 – 30 years. If you look at her background and how she trained, you’ll be shocked… this lady had to buy her own equipment because there wasn’t a training center that was good enough for her to properly train for an Olympic competition… yet again, was this disappointing? Yes… Was it surprising? Not!
The point is that for some athletes, making it to 5th place, 10th, or even making it to the first 100, it’s a huge accomplishment, Am I saying that not all athletes go to the Olympics expecting to win a gold medal? Yes, sometimes, winning 20th place is more than good! I remember when I was younger I used to think that all athletes were there to compete for a gold medal, like, truly competing for gold… little did I know… Now, I’m not a sports expert and this blog is not about sports either, then, why I’m talking about the Olympics and sports? Well, watching the competitions and reading about the stories of athletes not having equipment to train, facilities, etc., and knowing that the goal for some of them was to be on the top 50, made me think about my professional career and how different or not is the professional world from Olympics world? if I were to go to the Olympics of PM’s, would I be in the run for a gold medal? or would I be aiming for 50th place? Am I trained enough? Do I have enough experience for the competition?
Some of us may say, well, education in our countries is not the best, then, there’s a disadvantage for us over the first world’s… But, is it really? with all the online resources we have access to? considering that there are plenty of free courses, blogs, books, webinars, workshops, etc., can I really justify aiming for 1000th place at the PM’s Olympics instead of aspiring to win the gold medal? Probably not… It’d take huge determination, commitment, time, and yeah… money for me to get there, but it’s not unachievable. The good thing about IT careers is that we can train ourselves and be the best with very few resources… a laptop (or even a cellphone) and internet access basically… we don’t need large facilities, expensive or sophisticated equipment… determination is all we need…
So, am I ready to go to the next PM’s Olympics? are you? It’s only three years to Paris 2024 team, better start working on it now!