The Olympic games represent much more than just a collection of athletic contests. They signify an understanding and respect between countries, as well as a beam of pride in one’s own country and a relentlessly tenacious spirit. Every athlete that competes in the Olympics is blessed with an incredible athletic gift, but that is not the only thing that sets them apart. To compete as an Olympic athlete, one needs a dogged belief and the unyielding will to accomplish a worthwhile goal. In short, Olympic athletes serve as a perfect metaphor for innovators who endeavor to change the world.
Olympic athletes aren’t in the spotlight as often as other athletes. Football, basketball, and baseball stars routinely make headlines and their eye-popping salaries hint at their status in our society. Yet while competitors from other sports garner headlines and fame, Olympic athletes operate in the background, relentlessly training for years in relative obscurity with one goal in mind: winning an Olympic medal. Similarly, innovators toil day after day, driven by the desire to achieve their goals. The product of this tireless toil has the potential to change the world.
Like Olympians, American innovators have worked with profound determination to solve the most pressing of challenges and create solutions. Since its birth, the United States has been a leader in innovation. A revolutionary system of governance has led to a country that is defined by its innovative nature. American innovations, in a wide variety of different fields, have helped shape the modern world through new technology, alternative modes of transportation, and countless other ways.
American innovation takes many forms. According to the Harvard Business Review “Having a strong domestic manufacturing base is vital to the United States maintaining its world leadership in innovation… Manufacturing provides the foundation for many kinds of innovations.” American ideas that turn into solutions are the backbone of the country and American innovators can enact substantial positive change.
Becoming an Olympic athlete is anything but easy. It requires both an incredible degree of talent and a willingness to constantly work to achieve a goal. Innovators travel the same road. INC.com believes that “The simple truth is that every monumental endeavor can only be achieved in increments. In business, perseverance means leaning forward, walking one foot after the other into the chill entrepreneurial wind until you’ve reached your milestones and eventually achieved your goal.” Olympians and innovators both have many unique attributes, however, what ultimately set themselves apart from the crowd is that they possess the drive of a champion.