What the Olympics Taught Us About Character

Kate Raven, Communications Manager
Greenwood’s 431 students and 86 staff gathered in the gym on Wednesday, September 19, for the first assembly of the 2012-2013 school year. At this school-wide gathering, students met their Student Council, learned where to audition for the school play, and got an overview of all of the activities scheduled for the Fall 2012 term.
 
Our principal, Allan Hardy, started off the assembly with a short presentation on the subject of character. At Greenwood, we know that developing character is even more important than a grade point average – but what exactly is character? The short answer: perseverance, resilience, and grit.
 
During the 2012 London Olympics, Canadian triathlete Paula Findlay captured the country’s attention – but not for the reasons she expected. Findlay went into the Games as a medal favourite, but fell behind throughout her event. When she reached the run portion of the triathlon, she was strongly tempted to quit. However, the team doctor spurred her on by telling her: “You’ll be more satisfied if you finish.”
 
Findlay finished dead last, but she finished, and this is what Principal Hardy stressed.
 
“There are going to be moments this year when it would be easier to quit,” he said. “There will be setbacks, but the goal is to persevere and to do your best. There are many studies coming indicating that long-term success and personal fulfillment have more to do with character and grit than academic averages or SAT scores– and Paula’s example is what we call character at Greenwood.”
 
Recommended Reading on the subject of Character
 
Character as the Aim of Education – David Light Shields
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Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811