While getting completely obsessed with the Olympics over the past couple of weeks, I noticed something really perplexing: Wow, do people like to dismiss and complain about Olympians. People sitting on their couches complaining about how someone didn't try hard enough, because they only got a silver. Saying athletes should be ashamed for qualifying for the finals but not receiving medals. Saying athletes aren't gracious enough, or humble enough, or ambitious enough. For being the wrong shape or size (despite, you know, being more in shape than most people could ever dream of being), for not being pretty enough, for caring too much about appearance.
Olympians have more ambition, self-discipline, and proof of success than almost anyone else on the planet. They're the elite in whatever sport they pursue, and they have worked tirelessly for years to get there. Even qualifying for the Olympics is something amazing that almost none of us will experience. And yet that doesn't save them from people sitting at home, dismissing them, belittling them, and making fun of them. In fact, it seems to make them more susceptible.
That should probably be depressing. If Olympians aren't good enough for the world, what hope do we mortals have? But I actually think it's really freeing. It's so easy to try and restrict ourselves because of fear of what other people will think. We don't think we'll ever be good enough, so we make ourselves smaller to avoid people's disdain. And it's pointless. There will always be bitter complainers who devote their energy to tearing other people down, but their words have nothing to do with the person they're criticizing, and everything to do with their own bitterness. No one is good enough for the internet. So no one even needs to try. If you're doing your best to do the things that are important to you, that's what matters. And you'll come out of it with whatever your version of an Olympic experience is, while those detractors... well. They'll just have their own loathing to show for it.