‘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.’
Pierre de Coubertin
When I was very young, I was told to dream big and you will reach them. Were you also told this?
Every two years, the history of my Olympic dream comes back to me. As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ramps up this week, I will watch on with glee, living through these great athletes – The Dream.
As a kid, I would spend my time laying in bed looking at the ceiling envisioning my big dream. To be an Olympic medallist. It looked so beautiful and perfect in my mind as I saw myself standing on the podium receiving my medal and watching my flag ascend the flagpole.
My partner and I became National Junior Ice Dance Champions in Canada. We trained long and hard, got better and better and we achieved a lot in a short period of time. The stars aligned in our favour, politics was on our side and the dream looked so real. Then the tides turned. My partner and I broke up, my father retired and suddenly died, money was short and I was forced to quit and move on. My dream ended…so I thought…
As time went on, I became a dancer then an elite figure skating choreographer. As the universe would have it, it blessed me with an opportunity. I began to choreograph for a famous Canadian World Medallist, Brian Pockar. During one of our working sessions, we began speaking about the upcoming Olympics in his hometown, Calgary Alberta.
I said to him, why don’t we partner up and submit a proposal to create the Closing Ceremonies for the ‘88 Olympics? He jumped at the idea. As he was the famous one, he did all the political operating. Guess what? We won the bid. Was my dream coming true to be an Olympian after all, albeit in a different way? Brian became the figurehead, and I was the choreographer and director of the Ceremonies.
After months of rehearsing and challenges, the day arrived, February 28, 1988. My nerves and anticipation mounted. I remembered, there is only one shot, this is your big dream coming true.
I watch from the sound booth high above the massive artificial ice rink in McMahon Stadium. The music begins, the skaters flow into the stadium ice rink. They perform magnificently with national pride for 2 hours in sub-zero weather under a clear starry sky and mega lights. 60K live spectators waving candles with an estimated 2Billion TV audience. The biggest show on earth. Wow! My complete mind body and soul leaps joyously. Then after the uproar of kd Lang singing Turn Me Round, it ends with roaring applause I have never heard before. To this day I remain stunned. Was I finally living my dream…but in a different way?
Dreams do come true. As a young boy, I could never have envisioned this. I now realize the universe had its own version of my big dream. am deeply grateful.
- Never underestimate the power of dreams and the universe collaborating for your best interest
- Hold loosely to your dreams, set the intention/dream; Let go; Believe
- Go Nomading and allow the opportunities to appear as seeds, follow with curiosity, the path is never straight
Kevin Cottam, Canadian, Global Nomad who helps dynamic leaders and organisations uncover their winning edge. He is a Professional Speaker, Executive Coach, Author and the originator of the Nomadic Mindset Podcast. A former elite choreographer to World and Olympic Figure Skating Champions and director of multi-million dollar productions including the 1988 Olympic Closing Ceremonies. Kevin believes we have become too narrow in our thinking and behaviours and we need to expand our innate global thinking to create a new now and future that brings humanity, economic practices.