Awe and amazement fill me when I watch the Olympics. Years of preparation, pain and sacrifice and then that one run, game or other form of moment of truth.

I stand in awe of the beauty and control in the movements. I bow to the power, agility and persistence. How contagous the joy, the pain and the tears? For just a second I am that top athlete.

It’s in that second that awe turns into amazement. The score of stories of top athletes that put everything aside to acheive their ‘golden’ dream, slap me back into reality.

Take for example Maarten van der Weijden. Dutch swimmer that beat cancer. I still get goose bumps when I think back to his golden Olympic race in 2008. December that year he declared then end of his career in his Sportsman of the year award acceptance speech. He said he no longer wanted to be the slave of his drive to win. That drive that made him sleep in an oxygen tent and end his relationship. All to facilitate his Olympic mission.

Wu Minxia became the first diver in Olympic history to win gold medals in three straight Olympics. Days after winning her latest gold her family informed her that both her grandparents had passed away and that mom was suffering from breast cancer. News that had been withheld to not harm competiteveness, of course.

No thank you, I don’t want to be a golden top athlete. Not only do I lack the talent and training, moreover I am not relentless enough. The one thing I do share with these athletes is a burning desire. Mine is not about gold, but it is: leave a better world than I got onto. And, unlike most athletes, the Olympic spirit rules: taking part is more important than winning.