And the Winner Is ...

Zig Ziglar on

Think back to the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Tara Lipinski won the gold medal in figure skating. Michelle Kwan won the silver.

This event truly was one of the most exciting and closest competitions in the history of the Olympic Games. Eight of the nine judges placed the competitors within one-tenth of a point of each other; six of the judges rated Lipinski first in the long program. Had those six judges all graded Kwan a tenth of a point higher for technical merit, she would have won the gold medal handily. For that matter, Lipinski would have lost had any two of the five judges given her a tenth of a point lower for artistic impression.

Question: What made that minute difference that enabled Lipinski to win over Kwan? First, Lipinski opted to skate a tougher routine, which she performed nearly flawlessly. That always gives a competitor a slight advantage.

Other reasons are more difficult to pinpoint. They were both completely committed. Both had worked extremely hard. Both have marvelous natural abilities, which they developed to the utmost. Both have outstanding attitudes.

But the question is: Did Lipinski work just a little harder, prepare herself a minute fraction better? No one can specifically answer those questions, but as often happens in life, the difference between the gold and the silver, between first and second, is often measured in minute increments.


Fortunately, both of these two outstanding athletes have had brilliant futures, and both did extremely well financially. Not only have they done well in the Olympics, but with their continuing commitment, hard work and character qualities, they will do well in life. Take their approach, and I'll see you at the top!


To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free email newsletter through



blog comments powered by Disqus

--Ads from Google--

Social Connections


Mutts Steve Benson Mike Smith Andy Marlette Rubes Gary Varvel