A story from The Push

In her book, The Right Words at the Right Time, actress and author Marlo Thomas invited one hundred remarkable people to share the moment in their life when words meant all the difference. Athlete and Olympic Champion, Scott Hamilton, shared his story:

I remember a time early in my career when I was in need of financial support to be able to continue skating. A family I had met graciously offered to sponsor my training, asking for nothing in return. Frank McLoraine was an amazing man. When I was competing at the Midwestern Sectional Championships in Chicago, I stayed at his house and I was a bundle of nerves.

He sat me down and said very simply, "Skate the ice." Those three words have stuck with me for many years, and I have applied them to many different situations. What he was telling me was to take what is given to you. Always do the best you can with what you have. I took those words to heart.

I was the only skater at the time executing a difficult triple lutz in the compulsory short program, a risky move because there are mandatory deductions for mistakes. With Mr. McLoraine's words ringing in my ears, I nailed the jump and thought to myself, "Okay, this works." I was prepared. I had done my homework and it was either going to be great or not so great. I had done everything I could so I just had to let it happen. I had to "skate the ice."

People look at an event like the Olympics and think that the Gold Medal is the ultimate goal, but it's not. The process of getting there is far more important.

I now realize that the greater results were achieved by what it took to get to that place of having the chance to succeed. It's about showing up and training with all you've got every day. It's about doing that run through when you aren't feeling well, or dragging yourself to the rink when you didn't get much sleep the night before and giving the same effort as when you're feeling your best.

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