It’s never too early or too late to go for Olympic gold. In the London 2012 games, the youngest athletes are 15 while the oldest athlete is 71 year old Hiroshi Hoketsu who will compete in the dressage. The wealth of Olympic sports on offer means you can select a sport that suits your talents, age and fitness level. Athletic sports take 4 to 8 years of intense training just to get the lung and muscle capacity to compete. If you think you have what it takes, you can be an Olympian at any age.
Pick your Passion
The first step is to find a discipline that you enjoy and have a natural talent for. Olympic athletes are the best mix of environment and genes. There are so many disciplines to choose from, so try as many as you can to find one that you have a natural aptitude for and enjoy playing. After all, you are going to be doing this 6 days a week for years to come.
Join a team at your school, university or a local club. Once you have managed to make the team, you need to join the national federation. This will give you access to top coaches, sporting facilities and national and international competitions.
Getting professional coaching is essential to success. You also need access to the best facilities, sporting equipment, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and a wealth of other professionals who will help you to the top. The way to afford all the training is to get a scholarship at a top school or university or to get sponsorship. You will find this becomes easier the better you do at national and international competitions, so make sure you enter as many as you can.
Sport is as mental an endeavour as it is physical. You must find the right ‘sports whisperer’ to help you to visualize your victory and to stay calm in the face of intense pressure and millions of people watching.
Most importantly, have a good time. Most Olympic athletes have 2 to 3 training sessions a day, 6 days a week. They sleep for 10 hours a day to aid muscle recovery and eat between 5 000 to 9 000 calories (depending on their discipline). If you are ready to do nothing but eat, sleep and train, then you’re ready to be the next big name in Olympic sports. Good luck!