Friday, July 20, 2012

Go For Gold 3

Claim to fame:
2007 Pan Am Games men’s decathlon gold medallist
2007 Osaka World Championships men’s decathlon silver medallist
First Jamaican to win a medal in the men’s decathlon at a world championship
Jamaica team captain - 2008 Beijing Olympics

Maybe not very many Jamaicans know about one of the nation's finest decathletes, but  Maurice Smith made history when he won the country’s first medal in the decathlon at a World Championship. He was also selected as captain of Jamaica's Olympic team at the 2008 meet. This means that he displays some key qualities that make him stand out to our athletics organisers.

It is always a plus if you display the ability to motivate, encourage, and inspire others to achieve and be their best. Maurice is very good at this, and that is why he is so often selected to be leader of the nation's athletics groups. Smith has not only stood out in his event at different international meets, but also takes the time to encourage others to pursue gold as well. This is one of the hallmarks of a winning attitude.

Working together with other people is another important quality that all successful athletes must possess. They meet a variety of people every day - trainers, coaches, journalists, sponsors - and they have to learn to work well with them all if they want to have exemplary careers. It is very true that no man is an island, and our athletes - and winners - understand that a good relationship with everyone is an essential part of success. Maurice Smith, as team captain, certainly displays that!

The decathlon comprises 10 different events: 100m, 400m, 100m hurdles, 1500m, long jump, discus throw, javelin throw, high jump and shot put. The athlete has to do well in all of these events to get enough points to place in the top three and win a medal. Maurice, therefore, cannot  just focus on one event and neglect the others, and then expect to win a medal. He has to try to be good at as many events out of the ten as possible to increase his winning chances.

Success in any field is no different. There are usually sub-parts that make up the area a person wants to do well in. Excellence in this area will only come after you work on being good in each sub-part. So, for example, if you want to be a good writer, you have to work on your grammar, punctuation, clarity in getting points across, and using different parts of speech in your story. When you master all of these, you will be an excellent writer.

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