Inspiration - Olympics style

I don't know about you, but I love the Olympics. I can't get enough of them. I tolerate a constantly running television to make sure I catch track and field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, field hockey, table tennis, and -- who knew - trampoline.

I find it so inspiring that many of these athletes train most of their lives for this moment. It's thrilling to imagine them as young boys and girls, the time when a seed was planted in their souls - the hope that they, too, would someday perch proudly atop the podium as the crowd cheers and their flag ripples before them.

And now they've made it. This time, to London -- all the training and the sacrifices leading them to a collection of moments in which they have to be at their very best. Total victory or the crush of defeat (if you can call it defeat) is determined by the narrowest of margins... and then it's over in a breath, it seems. Until the world's greatest gathering of athletes meets again four years.

Tomorrow at 2:45 PM, my favorite team of all, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team takes on Japan for their fourth gold medal. Their 4-3 nail-biter, semifinal win (seriously, my own fingers are proof) ended with a goal by Alex Morgan in the last 30 seconds of overtime. Inspiration at its finest.

In honor of the Olympics, I thought I'd share a few other inspirational Olympic moments and images...starting, of course, with Jennifer Ennis' abs (you heard me.) Please leave a comment and share your own sources of Olympic inspiration.

Okay, so Jennifer Ennis. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon, which was impressive to say the least. But also inspiring are her chiseled abs. As an Inspired Winer, I also love that in a recent story by The Sun she plans to enjoy some wine post competition. "I'm definitely going to relax, eat lots of rubbish food, have a few glasses of wine, and enjoy this moment for as long as possible," she said. Cheers to that!

Next on the list are pretty much everyone else's abs, including but not limited to: English footballer Micah Richards, Brazilian beach volleyball babe Juliana Silva, U.S. freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs, English diver Tom Daley, and the entire U.S. Men's Swim Relay Team.

Michael Steele/Getty Images
How about South African Oscar Pistorius, who made history by becoming the first double-amputee athlete to compete in track & field? Oscar made it all the way to the semifinal in the men's 400 meters. According to a NY Times article, he did not look disappointed when finishing last in the semifinal. Instead, he was overjoyed with his accomplishment.

And, as you might imagine, I have to give a shout out to Alex Morgan for that game-winning goal against Canada. But I can't do that without giving a ton of credit to teammate Megan Rapinoe. Without her two back-to-back goals, the U.S. wouldn't have been able to clinch the win in the final seconds and earn that gold medal game spot. The video is worth a look.

And while there are so many more people and moments to celebrate about the Olympics, I'll end by giving props to Queen Elizabeth. She took us all by surprise during the opening ceremonies by showing us that despite the royal family's long tradition of formality and reservation, there is indeed a time to cut loose and have fun.

Not only was it hilarious to imagine her skydiving down into the center of all the opening ceremony action, it was fun to detect a little nervousness in the debonair Daniel Craig as he performed the Bond skit alongside the Queen. Cheers to her for reminding us that shared laughter is another form of inspiration...a language that transcends borders and cultures.

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