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Katie Tsuyuki - It takes courage to follow a dream

Katie Tsuyuki is a freestyle snowboarder whose discipline is halfpipe. She is a member of the Canadian National Freestyle snowboard team

Since the dawning of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece around 776 BC, many of the original elements of the Olympics still hold true.

The public may not fully understand or realize the efforts that are poured into the two weeks of competition that take place every two years. However, the relevance of the Olympics is not only that it encourages sport and healthy competition, but that it builds dreams, especially when the host country is your own.

Often people forget why these competitions are so important to the athletes and cities where they are held. For the athletes, the Olympics are the pinnacle of their career. To get there, they’ve beaten out hundreds and sometimes thousands of competitors. It’s amazing how many pep talks have been heard and how many kilometres have been traveled to get to that one point with blood, sweat and tears literally coming out of their bodies.

For the host cities, new buildings and roads are built as new jobs are created. The boost in employment stimulates the economy and that has a snowball effect on spending. The Games change the athletes and the communities that it touches.

Encourages healthy lifestyle

Sometimes we focus on the Olympics Games so much that we may not see the advantages of encouraging sport as a whole. Playing sports produces healthy morals and values in its participants. Sport teaches us how hard working, honest people are winners. It makes us responsible for our own actions and helps make grownups and our youth live with confidence.

Healthy competition is a huge part of sport. We try to be our best and learn though trial and error how we can continually perform better. Whether this learning comes from within or through watching others in sport, the participants are improving. The morals and values learned might also be absorbed in school, but they become real in sport. Through all of this, the most important benefit is that sport creates dreams.

Dream. It’s such a small word for the meaning to which it holds. From the dreams of the athletes who are too young to compete or have not qualified yet, to the ones who are taking part in the Games, they are all motivated to push to the next level. It’s the reason why people who train so hard go to such immeasurable lengths to test themselves.

Don't be scared

It takes courage to follow a dream, to not be afraid of failing, to realize it’s better to live with disappointment then to live with regret. A dream gives an athlete the edge to win. The Olympics sharpens these dreams into goals and goals into achievements. In truth, dreams are what made the Olympics what it is now.

With the 2010 Olympic Games being held in Vancouver all of these components will come to our great country. There will be changes in the faces and souls of our athletes and cities. A rise in morals and values will occur because of the encouragement of sport and competition.

Lastly, but most important, dreams will be given life as we all take part in welcoming and challenging the world in our beautiful city of Vancouver.

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