By Rachel Pasker
They floated around the ice so gracefully they made anyone who has fallen while in a pair of skates look like they were so uncoordinated they have trouble walking on a daily basis. Meryl Davis and Charlie White worked together for 17 years before finally earning a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. Some may think this proves that we must work for most of our lives in order to reach an accomplishment. Although it might be a little late to make a name for ourselves at the Olympics and 17 years seems like a long time to be dedicated to something, Davis and White bring a good message to young people and fellow college students.
Practice makes perfect and hard work and determination pay off.
In high school Davis and White stayed busy with schoolwork and other activities, so they only practiced ice skating for an hour after school every day. After starting college, however, it became a little more intense. This shows, though, that we don’t need to be excessive in our practicing, just consistent. Amid all of the interviews surrounding the Olympic Champions, White told reporters, “It’s taken four years of day-in and day-out practice.” They have proven that you aren’t going to become skilled at something overnight thus requiring hard work on both of their parts.
Both skaters are students at the University of Michigan, but have taken this year off to focus on the Olympics. Although they have been students at the university for a number of years – Davis graduated high school in 2005, they are determined to earn degrees; Davis is majoring in cultural anthropology. This hard work and determination to graduate comes from their skating sides. After earning the silver medal in Vancouver in the 2010 Olympics, the pair was determined to come back and do better; and they did.
I’m not saying you have to go out and win the Olympics or practice a skill for 17 years before you can be seen as successful, but all of the Olympians have proven that practice, hard work and determination can go a long way.