Witnessing events live and sharing the humanness of superpower at the World Athletics Championships
What a great trip! Thank you for sharing. The photos are great :)
And congrats on being the Substack recommended read!! So deserved. You've had quite the week 😀
Fantastic piece this and the photos are just full of joy. You really don’t see the hard work and dedication it takes for these athletes to get to this position, amazing.
What an absolutely glorious article.
Many congratulations on getting your Substack award and reaching your milestone, and thank you for the support you give others, which touches, I think, on some of the points you raise in this piece!
I am struck by the fleeting nature of the adulation the athletes receive when they are at the top of their sport, and the pros and cons. The cons - a great athlete being overshadowed by another, the pros - being able to live a relatively private life despite being a superstar.
The subject of flag waving is complicated. It does bring a tremendously festive and motivational mood to proceedings. I remember the 1980 Olympics in which the GB flag and anthem were not used on the medal podium. It took something away from the sense of occasion. Culturally it is so much a part of the sport, and national identity plays a large part, even down to the sports that individual countries excel at. Well done for being there to hand out the flags!
Yes, it seems slightly odd that a sport only played in one country is called the world championships. I agree with Noah Lyles on this but hey, I guess it's no harm!
There is something inspirational about athletics. Seeing human beings reaching their full physical potential is awe-inspiring. Femke Bol seems to fly. It's as if she was born to run, even though reaching her standard takes years of hard work. I joke about my hero worship of Michael Johnson but it is very real. To me he has true greatness and he expresses it through his sport.
I think sport can be enjoyed by anyone, but I agree that the extra knowledge earned by being directly involved can only enhance your appreciation of the achievements of world class athletes.
I will absolutely treasure this article for its wonderful insights. The photos are just superb. What a wonderful memory for you and your family.
Thanks for the mentions. x
Thank you for the shout out DR. KATHLEEN WALLER! I think Noah Lyles is a genius for this. I had no clue who he was prior to this comment, and yet he has #NBATwitter, and Super Stars in the league all in the frenzy over this. America and Americans are self-centered. So, it's good someone throws cold water on us and our league. Having said that - American Exceptionalism is cool, and the NBA has the best basketball players in the world. If the NBA Champion wants to call themselves world champions at the end of the day, it's fine with me. Nobody complains about the Super Bowl Champs saying it. Or calling MLP Championship the World Series. But, good on Lyles! He "zagged" when everyone else unconsciously always "zigs". We need disrupters from time to time, even if this is actually comparatively pretty mild.
What a wonderful week of coinciding celebrations for you! Congratulations on being featured and reaching an even wider audience. What I enjoy about your writing is that seems to speak to a wide variety of readers and cut to the heart of the issues that concern all of us (regardless of political, religious, or cultural views). All the best as you continue your writing journey :)
Wonderful article Kate (and congratulations once again). A lot to unpack and ruminate on within all your words and thoughts.
I didn't really grow up with sports, myself. It wasn't ever anything I naturally gravitated towards (ever the nerdy kid) and so I think I missed out on some of that shared cameraderie and knowing/sharing in that feeling of (at whatever level) greatness. So in turn I didn't really pay much attention to sports and watching competitive sports until I was older. But I do think that the experience is elevated when you know something of the sport itself. Knowing somebody the intricacies/difficulties etc lends greater respect to the athlete when seeing them achieve something special. However, your point about imagination is still valid because your mind can create (whether false or true) opinions on aspects that you perceive to be difficult. My wife has often remarked that certain skills in gymnastics that appear flashy/showy can often be the easier skills (I'm sure that's not always the case).
I had a brush with greatness once. I was at the Hopman Cup Ball over in Perth (my sister in law at the time worked for Tennis Australia and got us tickets) and I danced with Roger Federer for a while 😅 Quite a surreal experience. But at the same time his greatness was totally normalised by that unassuming situation.
^random, rambling thoughts. Too many parentheses, sorry. They need to implement footnotes for comments 😅
Mega congratulations, Kate. So well deserved. Haven't read the rest yet as I wanted to post this as soon as I saw it. Are you in a Reads post that for some reason I'm not subscribed to, or is it not out yet? Either way, 👏🤩😍
Congratulations, and much deserved Kate. What a lovely way to mark your anniversary. I look forward to reading this post in full later! Have a wonderful weekend!