Every four years something magical happens. The entire world comes peacefully together to watch the greatest exhibit of human achievement: the Olympics. To some people it may seem like another great sporting event to gather friends and family, have a nice barbecue, and just kick back in good company. But if we think about it on a larger scale, it is so much more. The London Games this summer will be the most costly Games ever (USD14.8 billion). Billions of people around the world gather to watch this event that showcases human achievement like none of us can imagine. 3.2 billion out of a possible 3.5 billion viewers watch the games every four years. However, there is something more intriguing here: the athletes.

Personally, I have always invested in these kinds of events. As someone who is very active in the fitness world I admire these athletes. I watch and can’t believe the talent among them. It’s not just about their God given gifts, behind each athlete there is so much hard work and preparation that most of us never see. Yes we can watch the trials and see those who just barely miss the great event but imagine the people who win it! The hours that they dedicate to this sport is unbelievable. Waking up at 5 am for grueling workouts, strict diets, and a very limited social life is nothing to these people. They have dedicated their entire lives to one moment, one race, one final test that will forever stay with them. I go to the gym almost daily and sometimes I’m criticized for being too obsessed with that part of my life, for creating time for it in today’s hectic work schedule.

What separates them from a gym rat like me or others is that these athletes devote everything for a single moment in time that they have worked their entire lives for. It’s interesting to look at this in that perspective. It makes me see the athletes as more than just Olympic athletes; I am able to view their incredible hard work dedicated for a single race which they wait for every four years. Imagine where you were fours years ago and how much everything has changed since then. The dedication, time and effort from the athletes are tremendous to sacrifice and the mental/physical aspect of this torture is even harder to comprehend. There are some events that are obscure to us, some events that none of us even take the time to watch but we all should. Why? That athlete is probably giving up so much to perform for less than a minute. Not only do they sacrifice and devote everything to their sport, there are so many supporters behind them that have been there through everything –every tear, every win, every single moment that we as spectators miss out on. These people we watch should not be seen as just one-event participants, they are truly remarkable individuals.

When we watch the Olympics this year, most of us will probably be envious of the people in those stadiums. Some will watch Michael Phelps going against Ryan Lochte. Some will look for the fastest man alive and watch if Yohan Blake or maybe surprising new name can emerge victorious against Usain Bolt. This time let’s not just watch the front runner who is in the front of the pact, but also look for the guy who is in last place too. Though they may not earn a medal, they have made it to a stage that they have devoted their entire life to. They are all champions.