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RECOGNIZING UNKNOWN OLYMPIC ATHLETES AND CYCLISTS

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With the London Olympics just a few months away, hundreds of athletes and cyclists are putting the finishing touches on their workouts, training schedules and plans to participate in the quadrennial competition.

Some of those who will go to represent their countries as well as themselves you are already familiar with. They are household names whom we associate with past excellence and who will no doubt build upon these pillars of success once again.

Others, the vast majority, you have never heard of – their names and their times do not evoke awe nor admiration. Does this make their presence in London any less noteworthy or deserving of our attention? These athletes and cyclists have punished their bodies too and altered their daily routines similarly in an effort to be recognized for a flickering instant as the best in their specialties.

Sadly, however, most of these Olympians will not pass on to the next round and will watch the finals of their respective competitions as mere spectators. They will fail, fall short or simply lose. They will not win medals, fame or lucrative endorsements. They will stoically fade away or disappear once again into the murals of anonymity. Media accounts, history books and statistical archives will bear no record of the blood, sweat and tears they expended in pursuit of Olympic glory.

This brief essay is a tribute to those men and women who have done the undoable, suffered the insufferable and still come up empty. Following his team’s 0- 1 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge during the semi-finals of the UEFA Championship League, FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola stated: “We are already victorious. My experience in football has taught me that competing is more than just winning and losing; sometimes you play your best, outplay the competition and you still don’t receive your just reward.”

Exactly. To all those unknown athletes and cyclists in London, we at U51-Pro recognize your daily toil and effort. You too, in our opinion are “already victorious”.

Life and competition is not always about being the best, but about being among the best and giving your best. Your presence in London in 2012 for the XXX Olympiad confirms that you have already achieved both of these goals admirably. Congratulations

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