Spiritual Life

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Big Air Men, Skeleton Individual Women and Men, and Slopestyle Women – not exactly sporting disciplines that trip effortlessly off the tongue for the uninitiated but nonetheless a summary of Team GB’s medal tally from the recent Seoul Winter Olympics.






If you watched the final runs of the men’s Big Air Snowboarding, you will have watched Southampton-born Billy Morgan’s agonizing wait at the bottom of the slope, knowing that the only way he would receive a medal was if another competitor fell. And on the very last run down the hill it happened. Billy could finally celebrate. He was a champion, at least a Bronze medal one.

I’m not sure whether we could claim ownership of the words that Freddie Mercury and Queen sang in 1977, “No time for losers ‘cause we are the champions of the world”, but it was still Britain’s best ever Winter Olympic medal haul. Sadly, in some of our traditionally more successful disciplines like curling, our teams failed to win medals. So does that make them losers?

As a fan of BBC1’s ‘Bargain Hunt’, I am familiar with their maxim that “On this programme we don’t have losers, we have runners-up.” But for Olympic athletes, who are by nature driven to succeed, not to come first is harder to live with. Some of us may be equally driven to achieve – or perhaps we were in our former working lives. But one of the delights of Fuerteventura is the slower pace of life that allows people, whatever their framework of belief, to find their own rhythm and to rediscover their true identity, not in achievement, but in self-acceptance and self-understanding. So here’s to being a runner-up!

Until next time,

Revd Judie




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