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Olympic Trials and Tribulations

OPB | Aug. 15, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:43 p.m.

Is the sacrifice it takes to be an Olympic athlete worth it?

Who among us hasn?t marveled at an Olympic moment? A dazzling series of flips from a gymnast on the high bar, an incredible sprint across the pool, or a seemingly unending badminton volley? For three weeks, these feats of athleticism captivate the whole world, and symbolize the best in sportsmanship coming together as one. But what makes an Olympian? What kind of mental and physical dedication does it take to compete on a world stage?

Few, if any, Olympians lead what would be considered ?normal? lives for young people. Athletes often sacrifice social interaction, education ? and, some say, their physical health ? all in the pursuit of Olympic glory. Is it worth it? What happens to athletes after their Olympic days are over? And what about those who never make it?

Are you a former (or present) Olympic athlete? Have you coached one? Do you have other direct experience with people training and preparing for the Olympics? What?s your take on the efforts Olympic athletes put into the competition?

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Photo credit: Crucsou-Barus / Flickr / Creative Commons

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