Should athletes come to expect a higher quality of LGBT+ sporting event?
Large-scale LGBT+ multi-sport events are a big deal, they become a goal for an individual athlete or sports team to train for. It’s the peak event for the season and creates an environment where one can go to achieve the goals they set out for the season. Whether it’s achieving a world record or simply crossing the finish line, it gives purpose and meaning to training, to an individual and to the event itself. To participate and compete on any kind of serious level requires a high quality and expectation of each sport not only from the athletes but the event itself and organizing committee. Otherwise why should anybody take part? If nobody takes part than the focus and intention of the whole event is lost.
While the social aspects, including the parties; have always been a staple of each event. The reason people attend is for the sport and to do their best. It is a competition at heart and when an athlete competes at their best, they achieve something that cannot be measured in gold, silver or bronze. It’s an amazing moment to come back with a feeling of accomplishment and leave with positive memories made and the friends had while enjoying the bragging rights of something the athlete may have never done before.
Any large-scale event is a peak event that people train for. It is the ultimate culmination of the hard work people have put in to do their best. Too encourage and foster an environment where all participating athletes can do their best regardless of ability level is the role of the organizing committee and the overall governing committees of that sport. By breaking it down to encouraging participation and inclusion in sport on a smaller scale and motivating people to take part by offering resources to find and join their local sports organization with the ultimate goal of taking part in a large, worldwide event.
No doubt sometimes winning a podium medal is a goal and can feel like a tremendous accomplishment, however there is always more to it.
The participation medal represents the personal best that every athlete has put in for the event. The long hours of training and keeping up the healthy eating habits, all the hard work and sacrifice just to even be able to participate in the event. Knowing that regardless of the outcome, you’ve done the best you have could’ve done in that moment.
At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Michael Phelps set a world record and won gold in the 200 Butterfly. By all accounts he had a great race. However he did not have a great race, if you recall watching it you can see his frustration as he tosses his cap and goggles onto the pool deck. Due to his goggles filling up with water on the start, which affected his race, even though he won gold he knew he could’ve done better.
A true champion understands that regardless of placement, you finished feeling like you were first. Personal best is about achieving a goal with the best effort one can accomplish under the circumstances. Creating the best circumstances and highest quality competition is the key to encouraging personal best which encourages athletes to take accountability and investment into their own training and sport. Building up on the foundations of participation, inclusion and personal best and continuing the movement of LGBT+ sport in bringing together the worldwide community.