Attaining Our Personal Best Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 446

Dear Olympians,

Your journey to Tokyo likely started at a young age, the first time you picked up a ball or jumped in the water, the first ride that made you feel truly free or when the backflip you thought was impossible suddenly wasn’t. Throughout the years, you nurtured your talent, sweated and sacrificed to cut just a few more seconds, reach just a few more inches, or score another fraction of a point. You ached and stumbled, you got back up and you chased down every taste of victory you could.

Those years of work, the drive and faith that have kept you going, have all led here.

Now, those years of work, the drive and faith that have kept you going, have all led here. Becoming an Olympian is a rare accomplishment in a normal time, but you did it during a global pandemic. You are forever one of the most elite, most celebrated and most accomplished athletes in the world.

Your entire nation is cheering you on and we are grateful for what you’ve given us: the chance to come together in common awe and appreciation for your accomplishments and the shared joy of rooting for our country on the edge of our seats.

In these moments, we are more than our cities or states or backgrounds. We are more than our jobs or our political parties. We are united. We are all, first and foremost, Team USA.

You bring us together in a way that little else can. You remind us that with dedication, hard work, courage and teamwork, incredible things are possible.

What a gift you give. What an honor it is to watch you soar.

So, thank you for your hard work. Thank you for the tears and sweat that you’ve given to be here today. Thank you for representing our nation to the world.

Go Team USA!

This beautiful open letter to the USA Olympic team, written by our First Lady, Jill Biden, acknowledges that hard work and perseverance help us to reach for the highest heights and our personal, best goals. It doesn’t say anything about gold, bronze or silver medals, or how wondrous it must be to win one. Rather, it cheers us all on to share in the greatness of each one’s journey and accomplishment. It acknowledges that success is achieved through trial and error, growth through failure, but in having traveled the road of incredible work, tenacity and strength to arrive at this particular moment in time. We are one nation and one team. How beautiful to revel in the success of others, to hope for the best and remain focused, no matter the goal.

We can all see that victory lies – not at some high place along the way, but in having made the journey – stage by stage. A sacred pilgrimage. Good luck to them and to all of us as we each strive to attain our personal best and shatter some records along the way. Good luck!

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