Here is the entire #WhatItTakes Olympic Manifesto put together by Sport Chek, Shane Koyczan and Sabrina Benaim. This entire poem exudes so much pride in the spirit of Athleticism, but mostly it embodies the beauty of the Canadian Spirit. I am forever proud to be a Canadian. Eh.
We hope every seat is full
We hope you hear them cheer for everyone but you
We hope defeat is in your cards
We hope your hope splinters into shards
that you must handpick from the bleeding wound of your defeat
We hope that every athlete you meet
is better, more determined than you
But you need to be tested the same way wrong needs right
The same way ROAR needs FIGHT
You must fight to be here
You must pay with sacrifice
You must disregard the price of admission
If you want in, it’ll cost you. It’ill cost you broken bones and blood
We hope for a flashflood of fear and uncertainty
We wish this misery upon you because it gives birth to brilliance
There will be a moment in which everything you want becomes a singular goal
A moment of debt when every heartbeat you own can’t pay for every breath you stole
You must pay with the whole of you
Because this is the price and these are the stakes
you must pay for all the hurts and all the aches
you must open your heart like a vault and pay for your pain
because THIS is what it takes.
What will you do when your lungs burn and your body shakes?
When the disaster in your muscles go from tremors to earthquakes?
How will you hold on when every rung you reach for shatters in your grasp and there are more ways to fall than there are to climb?
How will you keep going when the hands on the clock refuse to applaud you until your best time is a broken record that skips over your next heartbeat?
How will you move forward when your feet feel like anchors you must drag across the finish line?
How will you sharpen into an ! the curled up ? of your spine?
What will it take to keep you from doubting yourself THIS time?
You have to ask yourself, is your prime ahead of you? Or behind you?
Will your worst days remind you that your best are still to come?
Is the drum in your chest loud enough to keep your challengers up at night?
Do you have what it takes when the fight goes into extra rounds?
Will the surplus of pounds you lifted be enough to prepare you for the more that is required when what comes next finally arrives?
Are you committed to the grace it takes to turn your falls into dives to cut through the surface of the water?
Will you have what it takes when there’s no spotter to save you, and no net to catch you?
When your mind asks for more, will your body match you?
Greatness walks up to you, she asks you two questions :
Can you see yourself in me & are you ready?
To push beyond your limits while shutting out the noise
To wear well each earned bead of sweat because you’ve worked just as hard
With a different set of rules to triumph before the clock ever starts.
Ask them why they call you anything other than athlete.
You see expectations and break them wearing muscles and tears,
Each one a testament to your strength.
To erase the idea of what you are supposed to be is not what you are here for,
You came to show the world what you are capable of.
There is no box to check for greatness,
They’ll know it when they see it.
There is a war you wage on yourself every time you attempt to do better
The letter of resignation you wrote is a no thank you note you keep using for target practice
THIS is what it takes.
These are the brakes you cut to keep yourself from slowing down,
To keep yourself from stopping,
Topping your last achievement will never ever take less effort than your maximum.
What takes you from start to finish is more than the muscle around your bones.
May exhaustion turn your arms into the stones you must lif tif ever you claim victory
May gravity always be the foe that prevents you from taking flight
May there forever be more fight in the other guy
May you be blessed with the nightmare of constantly asking yourself why you should keep going?
Knowing the boundaries of your reach will teach you to extend past them.
Do not CONDEMN failure
You will come to know it
You will be crestfallen
You will be beat down
You will at times drown in the drought of your determination
You will stumble
You will make mistakes
You will learn there was a level beyond the hard way.
THIS is your education
THIS is what it takes!
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