In October 2016 I had the privilege of running a one-day workshop on gratitude with a select group of ten athletes who competed at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. The athletes represented a wide range of sports including sailing, diving, beach volleyball, cycling and athletics.
The workshop was the first part of my research into a project I have been invited to undertake by the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra investigating the role of gratitude in Olympic and Paralympic Sport.
The day after the workshop the athletes were invited to share on film their messages of gratitude to those who supported them in their Rio Olympic campaign. In order to set the tone of gratitude, the AIS commenced their World Class to Worlds Best conference in Canberra in November 2016 with excerpts of this film.
This conference was attended by over 300 coaches and representatives of the organisations who support elite athletes around Australia. I gave a presentation on the role of gratitude for coaches as well as sharing some of my preliminary findings from the case study, along with precious snippets of the gratitude stories the athletes shared with me.