Last Minute Victories
The pageantry and global competition of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang has come to an end with Team USA bringing home 9 Gold Medals. Two performances stand out to me above all the rest: Women’s Hockey and Women’s Cross-Country Skiing.
It had been 20 years since Team USA brought home Olympic Gold in Women’s Hockey. Here they were, in the Gold Medal Game (again) facing their arch rival Canada (again) just like they had in 2010 and 2014. Canada looked unstoppable and prospects for gold looked grim for Team USA. That is, until Monique Lamoureux’s breakaway goal tied the game, sending them to overtime and a shootout (again).
American cross-country skier Kikkan Randall was the only mom on Team USA. Her Olympic career began at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. She finished 44th. Hardly the type of performance that provides motivation to keep going - especially in a sport where the US has never medaled. Ever. What would possess someone to continue to press on when clearly there is no chance of winning? Ever. Now here she is at 35 years old, giving it one more try with a teammate who was in 4th grade in 2002 when she began her Olympic journey. They weren’t even underdogs going into this event. They were an afterthought.
Team USA and Team Canada finished regulation and overtime knotted in a 2-2 tie which led to the shootout. The tension was thick as the excitement as Jocelyne Lamoureux prepared for her final attempt. What transpired next will be replayed for decades as she deked Canada’s goalie out of her pads with a move titled, “Oops, I did it again.”
Kikkan Randall and her teammate Jessie Diggins agreed that they were too conservative in the previous round. That carried over into the first lap of the finals. They posted the fastest overall time in the semi finals, but yet here they were looking at the backs of Norway and Sweden who were first and second heading into the final lap. Diggins found another gear as she passed Norwegian Maiken Caspersen Falla then set her sights on the individual gold medalist sprinter, Stina Nilsson of Sweden who was in the lead. Hearing the call of announcer Chad Salmela shouting, “Hear comes Diggins….GOLD!” will echo in the hearts of Americans for years to come.
Jocelyne Lamoureux’s shot gave Team USA the lead. But, that beautiful deke would be for naught if it wasn’t for her teammate, Maddie Rooney, the goalie. Her save on Canada’s final attempt secured the lead and the gold medal for Team USA in Women’s Hockey.
The tenacity of Kikkan Randall laid the foundation for the team that ended 42 years of Olympic obscurity for Team USA, but it was the efforts of Jessie Duggan in the final moments of the race that brought home the gold in Cross-Country Skiing.
Getting the lead is only half the battle. Securing the lead and a victory comes down to the extra effort you put into the last minute. How you finish is what matters most. It’s true in Olympic competition and in business as well. Unfortunately, many businesses focus solely on ‘First minute’ efforts with their marketing campaign. The on hold advertising becomes nothing more than an afterthought.
You need someone on your team whose entire focus is on the ’Last’ minute – the moment where they have called you and are placed on hold.’ Your foundation is set. On-Hold Concepts is the teammate who will secure the lead and give you the last minute push you need to bring home the gold.
See you on the podium.
Tom McTee, Super-Genius