Kerri Strug: Inspiring Story of Hard Work, Courage, & Strength
|nbcolympics.com~ Kerri Strug 1996|
I heard about Kerri Strug from the NBC news' broadcast tonight and it was truly inspiring. Maybe you watched it too, but first they were talking about Gabby Douglas's big gold medal win (which is also really inspiring. I'm really happy for her and all the positive impacts her victory will probably have) and then they went back in time to the last time the USA Womens Oympic Gymnastics team won gold, 1996. All the old gymnasts were there, I can't name all of them from the top of my head, but they spoke of that long long time ago with happiness and a twinkle in their eyes. One of their best achievements was probably made on that massive Olympic stage and their story is truly a tale of strength and hard work. Kerri Strug was the star though because she proved herself to be beyond the expectations of others and won the gold for her team.
When Kerri Strug was younger she wanted to be a gymnast and joined a gym run by famous coach Bela Karolyi. She worked really hard yet she lacked self confidence. The news and other people always called her nervous and shaky when under pressure. However, she still achieved much at that age and soon tried out for the Olympics Gymnastics team. To get the true feel of her achievements later though, some more information about her background is needed. Not only did she lack self confidence which she worked so hard to overcome in front of the news and audience, she also went through a painful injury. When trying to maintain her olympic high standard around 1992 (she was in the team for a few years I think before 1996) she fell off from the bars, literally flying down and fracturing two vertebrates. Luckily she recovered, but what more could this have done to her confidence level? I would be shakier than ever having gone through such pain during gymnastics. I would probably be scared to try it again. But Strug was strong and continued with her training even if it hurt at times. Her coach pushed her to her very limits, trying to help her to achieve her best. She understood this and appreciated it but it was undoubtedly hard. Another obstacle for her, mentally to overcome, was the addition of a fellow student, Dominique Moceanu. The two now adult women, former trainees together, look back at that time and admit they weren't exactly friends. They were more like competitors but that was good, they said, because they pushed each other to work harder. I quote from the news, "So began the side by side Olympic training of the talented newcomer and nervous veteran."
Kerri was overshadowed a bit by the talent of Dominique. She admits now that she felt a little discouraged and a little irritated at the fact that she was working so hard yet she was still overshadowed by someone else because she had more talent. A little personal note here, I believe that even if someone has more talent than you, you can exceed their achievements. Practice and working hard take you much further and help you achieve much more than talent alone. Anyways, Strug still continued to just work hard and made the 1996 Summer Olympics.
|nbcolympics.com~ Strug on the beam|
|nbcolympics.com~ Strug on uneven bars. perfection(:|
|nbcolympics.com~ Strug injured :(|
|nbcolympics.com~ Strug being helped by Moceanu and other teammates|
|nbcolympics.com~ Strug with Coach Bela|
What I will remember about Kerri Strug's story, it is just so inspiring, is to always work hard because you can't rely on talent alone. Practice is equally, if not more important than talent, and that valuable practice is probably what you will have to rely upon to achieve your dreams and goals. Also, other's expectations do not make who you are. You make mistakes, everyone does. And just because you make that mistake one time, a couple times, a lot of ties, that doesn't mean you can't do better. What other people think about you, you can change that. You just gotta prove that wrong with all you have and you have to believe in yourself. Finally, trust your coach, teacher, any leading/guiding figure in your life. They know what they're doing and they love you. They're trying to bring the best out of you and they know you can't push yourself to your best. You need a coach or teacher for that. So listen to your coach/teacher and believe that they know what to do the best and they have the best intentions at heart, even if they push you to no end.
I hope you found this story as inspiring as I did. When I was listening to it on the news I was literally getting goosebumps and tearing up. Kerri Strug's journey is amazing.
Well, it's late and I should probably go to bed. Thanks for reading my post and thoughts though!! Watch the Olympics! Gymnastics may be over but all the athletes work so hard to be on that stage and each of their journeys and hardships is inspiring and full of strength, courage, and hard work. LET'S GO TEAM USA (&South Korea!!)!!!