Thank you, Olympians Rashida Ellis and Heather MacLean, for putting Lynn and Peabody and Massachusetts and your country on the world stage during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Ellis, a boxer, and MacLean, a runner, competed with grit and tenacity. Their bids for medals fell short, with Ellis losing a split decision last Thursday night and MacLean failing to qualify for the women’s 1500-meter final on Wednesday.
But the hard work, hours of training, and competitive spirit that took Ellis and MacLean from their hometowns to the Olympics provide a model for other athletes intent on duplicating the pair’s work ethic.
Winning medals is the pinnacle of Olympic success. But the Olympics capture the world’s attention because the Games bring together athletes from around the world and shine a spotlight on stories highlighting humanity’s greatest attributes.
Athletes like Ellis and MacLean aren’t simply competitors who succeed or fail in the world’s greatest athletic arena; they are individuals driven to achieve a goal. They are people who refuse, in the face of pain, injury and doubt, to give up and say, “I can’t do it.” They represent all of us at our best when we focus our eyes on a distant, seemingly-unattainable summit, and say, “I will succeed.”
Rashida Ellis and Heather MacLean carried a little bit of our hopes and aspirations as human beings with them to Tokyo. Lynn and Peabody should welcome them back with open arms and the accolades they earned and we wish them well as they begin the journey leading to the 2024 Summer Olympics.