My Favorite Kind of Athlete

Jordan Burroughs  is wrestling for a gold medal at 74 KG later today. Pretty awesome, right? I mean, it’s an American going for a gold medal in the Olympics! Surely, this 24 year old from NJ didn’t expect to be wrestling with the greats of the world on the biggest stage possible…

Well, yeah, actually he did.

Anyone who has been even slightly involved in athletics in their life has come across a few athletes that inspire them. These athletes somehow find a way to separate themselves from everyone else and specifically find a way to stand out to you.

While I can be inspired by a wealth of different attributes, the most impressive thing about an athlete to me is their mental construct.

My favorite type of athlete is one who is very strong mentally, one who is extremely focused, one who is goal-oriented, one whose entire life revolves around their objective, and one who blocks out every instance of doubt that is set before them.

More specifically, my favorite type of athlete doesn’t understand the word “LOSE”. There are some athletes that view losing as a foreign concept, as a fable. Surely, they’d experienced it before in their lives; however, until it actually occurs to them, it doesn’t even seem like an option.

Instead of rambling along with generic examples and blanket statements, i’ll give specific instances and athletes that stood out to me and inspired me.

  • Ryan Kalil- OL, Carolina Panther

Recently, Kalil guaranteed a Super Bowl for the Panthers THIS season. Audacious? Clearly. The Panthers posted a 6-10 record last season. However, I can’t help but to admire Kalil for his mindset. It seems like he’s entering camp with the perfect mentality. If you’re not going into preseason thinking that you’re going to win it all, why even play the game? Kalil is so confident in his team that he took out a page in the newspaper to put his declaration in ink. Will it pay off? I’d bet against it, but good for him; I wish them all the best and respect the hell out of his mindset.

  • Muhammad Ali, Champion Boxer

I’m not going to write a paragraph about Muhammad Ali. He’s widely regarded as the greatest and most entertaining boxer of all time. If you’ve never heard of him and want to get the jist of him, click here. Not only was Ali confident that he’d win every fight. He was so confident that he’d predict what round he’d knock his competitor out in. Losing was foreign to him… and even after a loss, he came back just as confident for his next fight. He was the quintessential star.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo, Soccer star, Real Madrid FC

If you’ve ever seen Cristiano Ronaldo play soccer. You know why he’s on this list. He’s so damn good. Furthermore, he blatantly knows it. He employs cheeky crossovers/dribbling moves routinely, is one of the best Free Kick takers in the game, and believes he’s the best alive. He mostly made this list because of the following quote he once said: “God put me on this earth to show people how to play football.

  • Lionel Messi, Soccer star, FC Barcelona

Messi is regarded as the best player in the world, albeit, he’s sometimes second to Ronaldo. But I have no reservation in saying that Messi is the best alive right now. However, he’s usually soft-spoken. So, why is he on this list? This is why… When told of Ronaldo’s claim above, Messi responded, “I don’t ever recall having told him that.” Boss.

  • Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Undefeated Champion Boxer

Mayweather has never lost in his career. Period. Nor does he even entertain the notion he ever will. He very openly claims to be the greatest of all time. When asked about his relative position of greatness compared to the likes of Ali and Sugar Ray, Mayweather quickly responded, “Yup, I’m better than Muhammad Ali. Sugar Ray Robinson? Yup, I’m better than Sugar Ray Robinson. I would never say there’s another fighter better than me.” 

  • Usain Bolt, Jamaican Track Sensation and World Record Holder

Usain Bolt is the world record holder in the 100-meter dash and holds 6 of the 10 fastest recorded times in history in that event. He’s also the first Olympic sprinter to ever win the Gold Medal in both the 100 and 200 in consecutive Olympic games. In 2008, in his first Gold-medal-winning race, Bolt had such a commanding lead, he pulled up 20 meters early, spread his arms wide, and high-stepped his way to the finish. Pretty cool right? Even cooler… he still broke the world record. After winning his gold in the 200 meter dash this past week, Bolt told reporters he wasn’t just the best sprinter in the world, he took it to another level: “I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live. I’ve got nothing left to prove. I’ve showed the world I’m the best.” Tell him otherwise… I wouldn’t bet against him proving you wrong

  • Jordan Burroughs, 2X NCAA Wrestling National Champion, Eventual Olympic Gold Medalist

Finally, the reason I wrote this post: Mr. Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs won his first three matches today to advance to the Gold medal bout today at 2:45 pm EST. Most would be surprised by this result, as he’s still relatively young by Olympic wrestling standards (24). However, Burroughs has known all along. Proof? Well, in every interview he’s done, he specifically spoke to “Winning the gold.” Furthermore, how’s this for a bill of confidence? His twitter username is: @alliseeisgold. [Said: All I See Is Gold] It’s been that name since he joined Twitter in January of 2011, over a year and a half ago.  (Follow him). All of his tweets are tailored to him winning the gold. And, in his last tweet before he began competing, he stated, “Thanks everyone for the goodlucks tomorrow. Dreaming of Gold tonight. My next tweet will be a picture of me holding that Gold medal!!!” Confident? Yup.

Maybe this post would have been more appropriate to post after Jordan’s match tonight; however, his confidence emanates from him so strongly that I believe in him just as much as he believes in himself.

Don’t tell him he might win. He won’t entertain the thought.

He will win, it’s that simple.

See you on the podium JB.






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