….like Skating, Turning, and Stopping!
Last Sunday, the Penguins, Pittsburgh’s renowned ice hockey team, won the famous Stanley Cup in Rio de Janeiro. The same day, Team Brazil ranked fourth out of six in the much lesser-known Pan-American Hockey Tournament. Normally, these teams and competitions would not be lumped together in the same paragraph, but this year that changed. To call Team Brazil an underdog would be an understatement.
As their American coach explained, every member struggles, “Turning left, turning right. And stopping is obviously the biggest thing (WSJ 6/9/16).” These guys are in-line roller skaters in a country with no regulation ice rinks. They once practiced on a small patch of ice at a Pizza Hut that they had to share with kids, but lost that luxury when it closed.
So how did they overcome their beginning 0-16 score to rank fourth this year? Enthusiasm and learning their sport as the competition played out. They’re an inspiration to everyone who knows they’re facing an insurmountable challenge, but follows their heart and tries anyway.