The Odds Are…
The Olympic Games are right around the corner and Steamboat is no stranger to Olympians and Olympic success. With over 80 Olympians, Steamboat tops anywhere in North American and potentially the world.
But, don’t let those numbers jade you. I often joke that Olympians are a dime a dozen here in Ski Town USA. Yes, it’s true…statistically speaking. 1 in 157 people in Steamboat is an Olympic athlete. But, let me give you some perhaps lesser known facts about becoming an Olympian.
First, you may be familiar with the concept of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours to perfect a skill. This means that in order to truly perfect something you would need to train 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 8 years. That is a serious time commitment and doesn’t leave much time for anything else.
In my 13 years on the US Ski Team, I can attest to almost 310 days on snow per year.
The truth is this, the odds are NOT in your favor to become an Olympic athlete.
While researching for this blog post, I came across some interesting stats.
- Odds of being audited by the IRS: 1 in 175
- Odds of being in NFL: 1 in 300 (within US for kids participating in football their senior year)
- Odds of being in MLB: 1 in 200 nationwide (within US for kids participating in baseball their senior year)
- Odds of being struck by lightening: 1 in 576,000
- Odds of becoming a Winter Olympic athlete: 1 in 40,000 nationwide (for winter sports athletes)
- Odds of winning an Olympic medal: 1 in 662,000 nationwide
The bottom line is this: the odds are difficult, but the beauty of pursuing something you love and committing to a dream is priceless. There is nothing more gratifying than believing in something and seeing it come to fruition.
I leave you with this:
Take a chance and dream. Pursue something you love and be willing to spend the time and energy on it. You’ll be amazed what might happen.
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Caroline Lalive Carmichael
Caroline Lalive Carmichael moved to Steamboat with her family in 1995 and joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. After one season, Caroline was named to the U.S. Ski Team and competed for 13 years, attending two Olympics. After retiring in 2009, she returned to Steamboat as a coach. She and fellow Olympian Nelson Carmichael were married in 2012 and welcomed their daughter, Freya, in 2015.