Saturday, August 23, 2008

Breakthroughs are more important than gold medals

In the Olympics, the gold medal is the highest tribute to an athlete. To appear on the medal list is the dream of every participant. But the theme song of the Olympics is not the one at medal presentation. The Olympic Games is honored as the highest palace of sports, not only because it yields a number of gold medal winners every four years, but also because it fully displays the charm and the true meaning of sports. Through the games and the gold medals, people are moved, enlightened and inspired.

For the first half of the Beijing Olympics, people eyed on Michael Phelps: if he could fulfill his quest for 8 golds, it will be an unprecedented breakthrough. For the track and field, Usain Bolt won more applauses than other gold winners as the record he created represents a breakthrough in human's challenging the physical limit. Similarly, when Xian Dongmei and Chen Yanqing made a comeback and once again won the gold medal, they also represent the spirit of breaking through. The theme song of the Olympics plays for the wonderful performances of these people.

This theme song reverberates over the podium, but the climax part is played during the competitions. At the men's 400-meter free style, Zhang Lin is a real surprise. Though he just wins the second place, it is still a real zinger,: it is the first medal of Chinese men's swimming team ever won in the Olympics and it is probably more impressive than the possibility of the Chinese table tennis team winning all the gold medals.

The theme song of breaking through not only reverberates in the games, but also resonances far away round the world. When an athlete wins the first gold medal for his or her country or makes a historical breakthrough, the news turns the whole country into a sea of joy. 24 years ago, we used to be just as happy with tears when Xu Haifeng fired his winning shots.

The theme song of the Olympics is the song of breaking through, just because breakthroughs are more important than gold medals. Gold medals are won through competing with others. They only represent personal achievements. But to make a breakthrough, is to ceaselessly challenge oneself. Breakthroughs mesh better with the Olympic slogan “faster, higher, and stronger” than winning gold medals.

By People's Daily Online

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