Sustainability and recovery after failure

BEIJING – Whether it is a side injury or a defeat on the world stage, Olympic athletes know what it is like to suffer serious setbacks – and come back.

Most athletes who get the opportunity to participate in the Olympics do not return home with medals. But many often return home, reaching a personal record: a high career score or a faster race time.

For athletes, this is a testament to the fact that sustainability brings a prize at the Olympics.

Athletes share how they developed their resilience and experienced disappointments:


NAME: Karen Chen

SPORTS: figure skating

COUNTRY: United States

American figure skater Karen Chen says athletes are not always open about all the challenges they overcome to compete in front of the world at the Olympics.

“I never talked about it, but before the team competition I actually fell down the stairs and injured my ankle,” said Chen, who finished 16th in the women’s singles freestyle.


“But you know, I was resilient and thought,‘ I’m going to compete, ’” she said. “I know I went through that challenge, and fought with all the strength I have.”


NAMES: Lawrence Fournier Bodri and Nicolas Sorensen

SPORTS: Dancing on ice


Canadian ice dancer Nicholas Sorensen is aware of the mental losses that can be traumatized, and says he hopes his recovery can inspire others.

After a knee injury in 2019, Sorensen was unable to have surgery because it was the middle of his skating season with partner Lawrence Fournier Baudrillard. The experience taught him the importance of patience, devoting time to treatment and resisting negative emotions that may accompany trauma.

“The mind can play a lot of tricks on you if you’re injured,” Sorensen says.

In order not to fall into the rut, Sorensen and Fournier Bodri took ice dance lessons, and Sorensen sat in a chair to work with his hands.



NAME: Moritz Mueller

SPORTS: hockey

COUNTRY: Germany

German hockey player Moritz Mueller says that over the years he has learned that failures are a part of life and that everyone has them.

“The most successful people are the ones who have had the biggest setbacks,” Mueller said after Germany was knocked out of the 4-0 defeat by Slovakia.

Mueller says he is returning from failures, finding time to understand what went wrong and learn from his mistakes. His family helps him keep everything in perspective and not take himself too seriously.


NAMES: Laila Fear and Lewis Gibson

SPORTS: Dancing on ice

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

After working with a mental trainer, British ice dancing couple Lila Fir and Lewis Gibson say they have learned how important it is to replace any doubts they may have with faith in themselves.

“You fill your head with thoughts, and it’s very strong. You have the greatest influence, ”says Strakh.


They say a positive attitude was the key to their resilience.


NAME: Madeleine Dupont

SPORTS: curling

COUNTRY: Denmark

Madeleine Dupont says the Danish women’s curling team says a lot about what kind of team she wants to be, including how she wants to behave after the games.

“Do we want to be a team that just gives up and doesn’t bounce back after such a defeat?” Dupont said this after the defeat of Denmark with a score of 7-2 in a round of Britain. “I don’t want to be like that, and that’s not how our team wants to be. We just want to keep coming and doing our best. ”

She said the losses could be severe and cause her to want to lie in bed and cry. But she knows she doesn’t want to look back.

“I want to be the one who keeps fighting,” she says.


Names: Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart

SPORTS: Dancing on ice


After not getting to the Olympics four years ago, the Spanish couple of ice dancers Oliva Smart and Adrian Diaz worked to have a more constructive relationship so that there was no tension on the ice.


“You can’t say it was easy. It took us five years to fully understand what we need to do, ”says Smart. “Not just for skating and training, but for life.”

Whether it’s a teammate, friend or family member, Smart says she has learned that improving communication can take time and patience.

“But these breakthroughs are coming – they just take time and patience. If you give it time, it’s worth it, ”she says.



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– athletes on: Kills time when not competing


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