|I found Latvia.|
My Dad loved to talk and tell stories. He also repeated stories and thus I recall the story of the strongest man he ever met. Apparently this man could lie horizontally between two chairs while more and more men sat on his rigid stomach. According to Dad, this man barely strained. He also could apparently tolerate repeated punches to his mid-section without flinching. And until one single night my Dad and his friends somehow convinced him to participate in a spontaneous little strongman competition, he had no idea this man, someone he had known for years, could do any of these amazing feats. Full disclosure: my Dad tended to exaggerate and I’m fairly certain whiskey factored into all this and thus the truth may be somewhat skewed. Nevertheless, I do remember three details my Dad emphasized every time he told this story:
1. He was small.
2. He was quiet.
3. He wasn’t a show-off.
With my Dad, I met this unremarkably remarkable man several times over the years and although I never witnessed any strength-tests first hand, he certainly confirmed all three. Whether his intent or not, I learned much from my Dad’s story: real strength is often quite humble and hidden.
My favourite Winter Olympics moment this year happened when I wasn’t even watching, during a game likely only true fans saw in its entirety. But for me the sport wasn’t important to the outcome. In fact, the outcome was a loss. No medal. And for a country I couldn’t even pick out on a map: Latvia. But unremarkably remarkable hockey goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who apparently makes $55,000 yearly, managed to block over 50 goals despite facing well-known, talented, million dollar professional hockey players admired by millions of fans.
I wonder how many people had actually even heard of Gudlevskis? But that’s not the point. If we’d just pay attention, the answer is lots.