I recall preparing over two Olympic quadrennials to get ready for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games.

I trained as a shooter for the boycotted Moscow Games (a team I did not make) and the Los Angeles Games (which I did make and later medalled in). It was not a financially comfortable time in my life.

I supported myself with a mix of funding from the G.I. Bill, a graduate assistantship teaching physical education classes, and work as a shooting coach. I also served part-time as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves. All told, from working three jobs, I earned $500 a month (around $1,500 today), plus the cost of tuition.

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It's no secret that we all have obstacles we need to overcome in life.

There will always be ups and downs. That we know for sure. But, sometimes, unexpected lefts and rights pop up and try to throw us even more off track. When those types of moments hit, that's when our resolve is truly put to the test.

That's the type of perseverance on full display at one of the world's most celebrated sporting events — the Olympic Games. For years and years, athletes go through blood, sweat, and tears for a few precious moments of pure competition. If anything, that struggle to achieve greatness is what makes sports so dang beautiful.

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Paramount Pictures Ben Hur