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Assembly Idea - Resilience


This story of Steven Bradbury highlights the benefits of sticking with it in the long run. You never know what might happen. The video clip below is taken from the 2002 Winter Olympic speed skating final. Tell the pupils Steven's story play the clip and let them see what happens in the race for themselves.

Steven Bradbury was an Australian speed skater. He had been to 3 Olympic games already - he hadn't won a medal. Over the past 12 years of training and racing he had suffered some horrific injuries, including being 'speared' by another competitors skate, during which he lost so much blood he nearly died. He also broke his neck in another race and spent months in a brace. He was financially sruggling and had to borrow money from his parents in order to survive.

In the 2002 games he was the oldest competitor in the event. People didn't think he stood a chance, including himself. He ran a small skate making business at home in Australia and had even asked the favourite to endorse his skates when he won the gold. He had managed to scrape through the heats but had what he describes as he best race on the way when he finished second in the semi final. He realised he didn't have the raw speed of the younger racers so he employed a tactic of just hanging in there. This worked and got him to the Olympic final.

What can we learn from this ?
- Stick with it, who knows what might happen.
- You can get a huge sense of satisfaction and a big boost from trying your best.
- Being in the 'race' and competing is better than criticising from the sidelines.
- Just how much we can endure and overcome if we want to.

Bradbury trained for 12 years for the Olympics, young people spend about 12 years at school learning. We can all benefit from his approach and learn his lessons if we get in there and have a go ourselves. You don't learn all the lessons watching on the TV.