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U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Around the World

Susan L Reid

On August 15, 2008, much of the world cheered as Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson of the United States won the gold and silver medals in gymnastics at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Liukin and Johnson

Watching their victory unfold from the unsettling start both women had at the beginning of the Games was awe-inspiring.

The drama began at the qualification round five days earlier when team-favorite Samantha Peszek, injured her foot minutes before the competition began. The team was thrown-off by Peszek's injury finishing a shaky second, with only Johnson and Liukin advancing to the individual all-around finals.

As a small business coach and consultant to entrepreneurial women starting up a business worldwide, I've seen this kind of thing happen to women business owners, too. One moment, everything is going along fine. Then, boom! Something unexpected happens that impacts them and their business.

There is much today's woman entrepreneur can learn about staying strong and focused when faced with the unexpected from the women of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team.

How to stay strong and focused when the unexpected happens.

1. If you start out a little shaky, re-group and go on.

"With Sam’s injury at the last minute, it gave a tiny bit of disturbance mentally to the girls,” said Martha Karolyi, women’s national team coordinator. “We did all we could in a few moments to bring them together.

2. Reaffirm your commitment.

“Going into team finals, there are a few things we need to correct, but we have two days of training left,” Liukin said. “I’m confident that we’ll get those out of the way and we’ll be ready to go.”

3. Remind people of why you do what you do.

“We want to focus on the competition and go out there and do our very best,” said Chellsie Memmel, regarding the team finals.

4. Let people know what's next.

“Even though we did have some mistakes, we’re going to go back into the gym tomorrow and fix those few kinks,” Alicia Sacramone said. “We’ll be ready for team finals.”

5. Unify and support.johnson

“I feel proud of the U.S.A. and our team,” Johnson said. “We are proud of each other no matter what. I think that we represented the U.S. very well.”

6. Recognize your accomplishments.

“Leaving Beijing with a silver medal is such an honor,” Peszek said. “To have a medal hanging around my neck from the Olympics is remarkable.”

7. Keep things in perspective.

“You have good days and bad days, and I just wish that today was a good day for me,” Sacramone said. “My teammates were amazing today, but I just wish that my performance was a little better.”

8. Come back strong.

“We’ve overcome so many obstacles, but we came out here today and showed the world and every team out here that we can come back strong,” Johnson said. We’re going to come back even stronger in the team finals."

9. Give it your all.

“It’s been a really long road and I’m just so proud to be here,” Johnson said. “I’m honored to be representing the U.S.A. I had a great meet today and finishing on floor was probably my favorite moment because I knew I’d given it my all.”

10. Have no regrets.

“My goal was to come out and know that at the end of the competition, I’d have no regrets,” Liukin said. “I definitely have no regrets. I’m happy with how everything went and to say that you have an Olympic medal is just amazing.”


No whining over silver for the U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastic Team or wasting

energy on what might have been, that's for sure! Instead, the entire team exemplified how to hold-up under pressure by coming together as a team, and supporting each other, no matter what.

By their actions, the U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team exemplified for women entrepreneurs worldwide, how to stay strong and focused when the unexpected happens.

Copyright © 2008 by Susan L. Reid

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Copyright ©2008 by Susan L. Reid, DMA

Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses, and is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. If you are ready to take the first steps in owning your business, then get instant access to your own free PDF copy of “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” at 

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