What can the United States' Olympic Performance Tell Us About the Future of the Economy?

Wealth Management

By Nancy Skeans

Let’s face it, the naysayers are not going to go away when it comes to their negative prognostications about the U.S. economy. According to some, the U.S. economy has entered a long downhill slide that in 2008 and early 2009 felt like a ride on Vancouver’s luge track. The negative crowd tells us that our economic dominance is over because we are never going to dig ourselves out of the economic mess that we have created. We have forever changed the future for our children and our grandchildren.

Have you watched the Winter Olympics in Vancouver? So, what if anything does the performance of the United States’ athletes say about the future of America?

The individuals competing show us glimpses of much more than their athletic prowess. They share with us their hardships and determination. They show us love for family and for their country. They demonstrate to us innovation in their sports and their tireless redemption from prior failures. They remind us of our past and open our eyes to our present and future potential. They prove that our children and grandchildren are going to be even greater than we dreamed we could be.

The U.S. has dominated these games and has won more gold metals than in any previous winter Olympics held on foreign soil. Was this due to our rather lackluster performance four years ago in Torino? You bet.

In an interview with NBC, gold medal speed skater Shani Davis said, “We came here to do a job, and I am just part of the movement.” Even Bode Miller came to the 2010 Winter Olympics with a different perspective. It seems he has changed his 2006 tune from let’s have a party to let’s get the job done (and then we can party).

Four years ago, the U.S. economy was also engaged in an economic party of sorts, fueled by too much debt and too little oversight. Like Bode in Torino, we crashed. Unfortunately, the hangover is still present and no amount of aspirin is going to make it go away quickly. But the individuals that make up this great country are the same type of individuals that make up the U.S. WInter Olympic team – proud, determined, hard workers, and innovators. And let’s face it, we like to win. If you have given up on the U.S. economy and its future, jump on your computer and watch a few of the Winter Olympic replays. You may see shadows of yourself there, and you will definitely see hints of our economic future.

PS. Just like the experience of these same U.S. athletes, there are going to be some slips and falls as we push our limits, redefine ourselves and rebuild our economy – the road to gold has always been paved with challenges.

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