It’s one thing to have a dream. But to deliver on it? Well that’s entirely another.
Because big dreams take big courage and unusual levels of radical, long-term commitment.
Anything less will be found wanting. And even then, just when you think you’ve arrived you’ll probably have to go further… with no guarantees.
Examples of freakish courage and commitment abound in the London Olympics. It’s riveting stuff. None more so than the men’s archery discipline, which pitted team USA against Italy in an epic gold-medal showdown.
US hopes hung on a youthful trio.
Jake Kaminski (23), Brady Ellison (23) and Jacob Wukie (25) embarked on their Olympic dream four years ago. Their militant regime involved living together 24/7 for 48-months and training up to 12-hours per day. Now that’s fanatical.
So not surprisingly, team USA defeated Japan in the quarterfinals and disposed of the favored South Koreans in the semis. All that stood between the fiercely focused Americans and a gold medal were three Italians and their 24 arrows.
The contest went down to the wire. The USA, having fired their final shot, had all but secured victory by forcing Italy to score a bulls-eye for maximum points from their one remaining arrow.
Enter the robust frame of 36-year-old Michele Frangilli. Drawing his bow, the Italian stared down his left arm towards the distant target. The bulls-eye, no larger than a tennis ball up close, must’ve been a blurry speck from 230 feet and under the weight of his nation’s hopes.
Frangilli kissed the string, released the arrow and… NAILED IT! Shattering USA’s dream for Olympic gold by a single point.
Here’s the thing.
What had been a four-year journey for the young Americans had been 16-years in the making for the Italians. Frangilli had won bronze in 1996 and silver in Sydney, but no gold. So if the Americans thought they had dug deep, the Italians had dug four times deeper.
Said a jubilant Frangilli…
“I have been chasing this medal for 16-years. This is a dream come true. It’s a very strong emotion… finally, with the last arrow that hit… I think it was my dream.”
Through the good, bad and ugly: the test of a dream is in one’s capacity to keep going… and going… and going. To that point, Michele Frangilli had been so thoroughly tried and tested that his dream became so big, he couldn’t miss.