#WhatItTakes – The Entire Olympic Manifesto

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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