With the Olympics going on, I remember the Salt Lake City Olympic games. What happened is a little lesson I can pass along.
It was 2002. I had completed my third ski movie with Stein Eriksen, 1952 Olympic Gold Medalist. Stein was going to be at the forefront and center of the Salt Lake Winter Games and I planned on being there.
The editing was done. The manufacturing of our latest ski film, The Heart of Skiing was almost ready to go. The last days before the games, I pushed to get everything ready in the midst of plenty of media requests for the footage I had shot of Stein, with his stunningly beautiful ski moves. It took time and energy to get people the footage/clips they needed, while I needed a little more time for last minute preps myself.
I wanted to be at the opening ceremony because I knew it would feature Stein prominently and I was really looking forward to it. It was exciting to watch all the preparations including new venues being constructed, even colored freeway underpasses. When it was clear that I was not going to make it to the opening ceremony, I figured I’d still make it to the closing ceremonies. Right before I could go, disaster struck. I got sick. Not just the sniffles, but the “I can’t get out of bed, or even move” kind of sickness. I stayed in bed for two full days. I was heartbroken. Never did I dream I wouldn’t be at the celebration. I loved skiing, loved snow and loved to watch and film champions. It felt as though destiny took away what was supposed to be mine. And it was hard. Hard to let go of my dream of being at the Olympics in the ski resorts frequented and at and with people I had filmed.
That Olympics was my dream. And it didn’t happen. Such is life.
When I reframed it – much later, I realized that I HAD been there. My films were there. The footage I created with our brilliant crew and talent was airing or playing over the streets of Park City. And that’s is probably the reason why I was given the opportunity to do all that filming with ski champions and the ski team – it was so I could give my talents to help create an event that would bring people and athletes from all over the world to one beautiful snowy set of mountains with the best snow on earth. Where I could feature and highlight a man who gave his life to helping create a new sport – downhill and alpine skiing. Before Stein hit the ski scene, Olympic skiing had only been cross-country.
Sometimes life uses us in ways we don’t understand at the time. Time and deepening our awareness can show us a larger more beautiful picture than the one we were focusing on. Today I still get a little twinge when I know the Olympics are arriving but I know also in a small way I played a part in one of them.
That’s all you have to do – play your part. And play it well. Maybe things are looking confusing right now. Maybe it looks as though something has slipped out of your hands or not happened. I’m telling you to trust. Trust in life. And when you do life can make each of you a champion.
P.S. I have to tell you that Stein almost didn’t win the Olympics. His hand slipped on a turn. Everyone thought he would go down. But in a moment captured forever on film, he put out his hand. That hand was the only thing on the snow at that point. He miraculously recovered, made the turn and won the gold. It was a movie moment. You will have yours. Trust.