Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Olympians an inspiration

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A representation of the Olympic rings are displayed in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)
A representation of the Olympic rings are displayed in the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

By the end of last week I could hardly wait for the Olympics to start.

We made a day of watching the opening ceremony and ever since I have been keenly following our athletes.

Ever since I was a kid I have loved watching the games.

These people are the best of the best. They spend their lives training for this one event every four years.

Sports I would never usually follow, I watch with keen interest.

The way the gymnasts throw themselves through the air with such ease amazes me. The excitement of the track cycling, rowing, swimming and sprints is captivating.

Each competitor pushes their body to the limit of what is humanly possible - and I just can't get my head around why they do it.

I'm not a particularly competitive person. I pride myself on doing the best I can but I'm not really worried when I don't win.

I can't imagine the hours of training each person puts in and how committed they are to their sport - and making the cut for the Olympics.

Many athletes dedicate their lives to their sport with the ultimate goal of proving themselves the best in the world. An Olympic gold is considered by many to be the pinnacle of sporting success.

I was proud of our girls when they won silver for the rugby sevens - by my standards that's a great effort.

Their reactions told a different story. The team looked devastated.

I can understand that reaction to an extent. You don't train for hours every day and dedicate your life to being second best at something.

That drive is the difference between an Olympic level athlete and myself.

The Olympic games is all about dedication, determination and drive.

It may not mean much to someone so determined to win but, to me, every athlete who qualifies for the game is an inspiration no matter where they place.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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