Enjoying the Olympics? I sure am. Despite the issues surrounding these Olympic games, I am swept away by Olympic fever. The competition, the sense of goodwill among countries, learning about other cultures...
And of course, all the unscripted moments that offer us life lessons, like grace under pressure, grace when we lose, and grace when we win.
The other night when the US Olympic Women's team won a gold in gymnastics (it was amazing!), our team stood on the podium, medals around their necks, while the national anthem played. The next morning, the world saw this photo:
|(Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)|
It should be said that plenty of people thought there was nothing to get excited about at all, too.
Enough people were talking about it, though, that The LA Times weighed in, with the article Gymnast Gabby Douglas resurrects the debate over how to act during the national anthem by Bill Plaschke (firstname.lastname@example.org).*
“'When it comes to Olympics athlete celebrities, a word to the wise — be careful what you do on the medal stand, you can alienate a lot of your customer base,' said Mark Dyreson, Penn State professor and Olympic scholar."
I am not qualified to comment on Olympians' customer bases, IOC regulations, or anything having to do with athletics (I am NOT a jock). But this quote got me thinking about how my customer base, and how I look when I am on display.
Ultimately as Christians, we strive to please an Audience of One--our Lord and Creator--but we still strive to make favorable impressions on others and receive positive evaluations. We all have a customer base, to one degree or another, whether it's obvious (you own a store or are an author) or not (a student working toward a job goal).
|Gabby Douglas won Gold in 2012 in London, Reuters|
In those moments, we display a level of grace that resonates with a customer base ...or we don't.
Remember McKayla Maroney, who won Olympic Gold as part of the women's gymnastics team and a Silver for the vault event in London, 2012, and her "not impressed" face?
|Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images|
Michael Phelps rankled a few people last week when he laughed through the second half of the national anthem when he won the 200-meter butterfly.
|Phelps after the "Oh!", Washington Post. Photo taken from NBC video. Found here.|
|Phelps, before the "Oh!", taken from NBC Sports Twitter, found here|
While we shouldn't focus on appearances, acclaim, or acceptance, showing gratitude goes a long way with our customer bases.
I'll leave you with a picture of someone who is the exception to everything I said above. He can look cranky, and people still love him: one of the cutest supporters of Team USA, Boomer Phelps, son of Michael Phelps. No matter his mood, he always makes a favorable impression on me.
|David Ramos/Getty Images|
YOUR TURN: What's your favorite Olympic Event?
She's loved watching equestrian events since seeing the movie "International Velvet" when she was a little girl playing with plastic horses. Coming soon: The Rails to Love Collection from Barbour and The Reluctant Guardian from Love Inspired Historical.
*Article and quotes found here: http://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-sp-oly-national-anthem-plaschke-20160810-snap-story.html#nt=oft12aH-1la1