Clearly, there are many other attributes that may be added to this list, and it grows as we learn more about human performance. But I believe what is most important for us to note, as we watch the games and observe the amazing gifts seemingly bestowed upon these Olympic specimens, goes right back to the motto "Swifter, higher, stronger": The modern-day Olympics began through the efforts of Pierre de Coubertin, who firmly believed that all people should strive to live by this motto whether they are an aspiring athlete or simply a spectator.
We can debate performance prediction forever, but I am convinced that it is the imperceptible attributes that enable superior athletes to become so swift, so high and so strong that they become Olympians. The signature Olympic torch reflects more than light. For me, it is the beacon that guides them, pushes them, elevates them, distinguishes them and essentially lights the fire beneath them to forge them into physical champions.
The fact that the games serve to make us work harder and set loftier goals make them necessary and valuable. The effort and perseverance displayed in any physical challenge is victory itself.
Finally, the Olympic Creed says it best and we, the millions of spectators, would fare far better if we all embraced this message as well:
"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."
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or e-mail cindys...@aol.com. Look for Cindy's fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her Web site www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 340-3527.