I am moved by the awareness that greatness is a showcase that embraces us all, if we will receive it. At a time when the winter Olympics show athletes pushing, challenging and disciplining themselves to strive for greatness, I see that one demonstration can lift a whole city, or country or the world. Such is the case with speed skater Apollo Ohno, and also my cousin’s daughter, Mackie, who received the “oscar” for Junior Equestrian of the Year.

The speed skater, Apollo Ohno, is now one of the most decorated athletes of the winter Olympics. But his journey to get there was riddled with challenges. His father had an early vision for his son to become an Olympic speed skater. Through many years of work and discipline, he was competing at the Olympic trials at the age of 15. But Apollo threw his chances that year, he came in last place, and wanted to quit.

His father did something quite incredible. He took Apollo to a mountain cabin and left him there alone in his own isolation. He gave him one focus: decide the path you’re going to take with your life. That’s quite a powerful command to leave with a 15 year old, but it was the way to reach Apollo. He stayed there alone for 8 days, and when he finally came out of it, he faced the truth of the vision that his father held for him, that he wanted to pursue the Olympic gold.

Now, at these 2010 Olympics, Apollo is one of the most decorated athletes in the history of the winter Olympics. His greatness embraces all and calls for each of us to rise to the occasion. I am deeply moved by this story of facing what one can pursue. The focus, passion and discipline become a daily endeavor, and it requires character.

While feeling the power of greatness in action, I was sent the following video of my cousin’s daughter, Mackie Macnanamy, receiving the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award. This award is like the oscar’s for the equestrian world, and Mackie has been developing her riding and jumping skills since she was 5. To see her at 18 with this type of recognition speaks to going all the way–going all the way through the challenges, heartaches, pains, disappointments and rebounds. Her greatness calls to my own greatness and calls me to get with it. Her greatness lifts me. Greatness embraces all.

Hope you enjoy the video.

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