Finally Going Gold by Natalie Grimes

1 Dec

Every four years, millions of people all over the world tune in to the Olympics to watch elite athletes compete for a coveted gold medal. As viewers, we see the accumulation of four years of training all in a few weeks, but what we don’t see is the pain and dedication that those athletes put in to make it to the world stage. One athlete in particular that really stands out is not only from Orange County, but is also one that I really admire and strive to resemble. Esther Lofgren rowed in the gold-medal winning women’s 8+ boat, but behind her gold medal is her incredible story of triumph that brought her to the medal stand.

Eight women earn an opportunity to row for Team USA, eight dreams come true, and eight fantasies become realities. But what happens to the ninth rower? This is the question Esther Lofgren faced four years ago before the Beijing Olympic Games. Esther trained seven days a week for four years to become apart of something she had always dreamed of, but despite everything she accomplished in training, she feel just short of her dream after being the last one cut from the team. Crushed, Esther could have given up and accepted that her dream was out of reach. What she did after that was completely the opposite. Esther never once lost sight of her dreams, and after feeling completely helpless, she worked twice as hard to make the team four years later. After eight years of training, eight missed Christmases with her family, and eight dollars in her back account, Esther became the eighth woman to earn her ticket to London, and she was the eighth woman standing in front of the whole world with a gold medal.

Cheering for Esther this past summer was a very motivational experience, and watching her overcome the most devastating of obstacles truly proved that anything is possible. Rowing is one of the most beautiful sports out there, but the work leading up to these moments is almost impossible. Esther Lofgren showed the world that it is possible to make it all the way to the Olympics, and her story inspires people everyday to work hard and never give up on their dreams. Standing on the medal stand, Esther Lofgren seemed overwhelmed with happiness, and by looking at her, one would never know about her incredible journey of becoming an Olympian.


5 Responses to “Finally Going Gold by Natalie Grimes”

  1. Kelsey Fredericks December 2, 2012 at 2:11 am #


    Your paper is inspiring, just like the performance that Esther gave. I believe it is amazing the way she did not give up after not making it the first time! She worked harder and harder and finally made it to where she belonged. I cannot wait to see you in her place!
    -Kelsey Fredericks

  2. Kiana Griffith December 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    I think that it is really inspiring how even after her dreams were crushed by not making the Olympic team, she continued training for her next chance. Most people lose motivation after they get turned down once, and her strong character is shown by the fact that her motivation did not diminish. It sounds like she put her entire life into training to make the Olympics and it is uplifting and reassuring to hear that all of that hard work payed off.

  3. Drew Primrose December 3, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Esther inspires me to fulfill my potential in anything or everything I set my mind on. No one really gets to see the hard work the athletes put into their sport, which is I think the most unique part of the whole deal.

  4. Carlos Hernandez December 3, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Success isn’t measured by how many times you win, but by how many times you fail and get back up. You can never achieve success without first having failed; having come so close to winning and being hit with the harsh realization that you didn’t win. Only then can you truly appreciate winning and stand tall when you’re recognized.

  5. Megan Yount December 3, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Esther is a good example of the mindset each individual should have, not only when it comes to sports, but in every aspect of life. Striving for the best can show ones true character.

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