Over the past fortnight, the character and spirit of many of our Olympians was clearly on display. One of the people who stood out for me was Cate Campbell. Cate showed incredible strength of character after swimming outstanding times as part of the relay team, in her 100m freestyle heat and semi-finals and then swimming her slowest time in the final. After many years of training and high performance in all but the medal race, there had to be a sense of great personal disappointment. With little time to process or manage emotions, Cate was immediately confronted by media. Great character shone through as she spoke with frankness, humility and depth and in subsequent interviews with humour. Her response to disappointment was that she could learn from this. She acknowledged the personal challenge of keeping perspective and not defining her worth as a person in terms of her gold medal haul. Offering no excuses, she took personal responsibility.
In her final swim, the 4x100m medley race, she swam Australia to silver after entering the pool in the final leg of the relay, with the team in fifth place. As well as some of her best swimming, we saw great spirit, determination and courage on display. Many of us will have gold moments in our lives. At other times, despite all of our best efforts and preparation, there will be moments of disappointment. Our Olympians have modelled the celebration of success with gracious humility and dealing with disappointment with emotional control, perspective, reflection, personal responsibility and a focus on learning. The story of Job in the Bible is an encouragement to us in those times of struggle and disappointment to not lose faith in a loving and gracious God or in our worth as a loved part of His creation.