Olympic Dreams, Franklin Wolfson

This poem is about the choices we make in life from the perspective of three friends who are elite athletes, each of whom initially dreamed of competing in the Olympics. Two gave up their Olympic dreams, the first for success and money and the second for love. The one who stayed with his dream went on to win a gold medal.

Now that the Games are over, all three are reminiscing and reflecting on whether or not they made the right choice.


I couldn’t take one more hour lifting weights in some sweaty and smelly gym

The sacrifice was too great and the hoped for rewards of fame were too slim

I didn’t have the determination to keep running around that infernal track

I felt like there should be more to my life and my mind was about to crack


I was an out of control addict who could never satisfy some never-ending need

I felt like a hopeless junkie seeking more strength, energy, power and speed

Just another elite athlete living in a dream and chasing the same old sad story

A starry-eyed kid willing to sacrifice long-term love for short-term Olympic glory


The sweat pours out my body, my muscles are tight and the pain never ends

I’ve sacrificed everything including love, a great job and even family and friends

My life is now only about winning causing my grades in school to severely fall

But for me there’s no turning back because I’m answering an even greater call


As an athlete I knew I was really good but the real question is, am I really great?

To compete before the entire world I couldn’t afford to make even one mistake

Was I willing to do everything it takes in order to pass that supreme athletic test?

Am I mentally and physically prepared to compete against the world’s very best?


Every four years athletes from around the world seeking gold come to compete

Yes, it’s still a fierce battle and even the best Olympians often go down in defeat

There may be suffering and pain but at least there’s no intentional blood and gore

But I’ve fallen in love so I made the decision not to be a casualty in this world war


The Siren song of Olympic gold is a powerful influence to gain fortune and fame

But after the Games are over how many fans will even remember my last name?

It takes many years of dedicated preparation and practice to perfect each move

But it also takes a little politics and luck for the judges to see you’re in the groove


I cashed in my dream and chose a different path to make myself a success story

To me money and wealth are more important than the potential for Olympic glory

But watching those incredible athletes brought back dreams and memories of old

And I wonder if my success could have been measured in bronze, silver or gold?


As I gaze into my wife’s eyes I’m confident we’ll still be together when we get old

So I traded my dream of achieving Olympic greatness and let it die a deathly cold

I’m happy I found true love and I’m thankful my wife is really something to behold

And the moral of this story is that true love really is worth more than Olympic gold


Here I am finally standing on the podium a shiny medal hanging around my neck

I think back of all the pain I endured that got me here and I feel like a total wreck

My smiling face is on a giant screen as I gaze overhead at a single white dove

But I wonder was it really worth it and… is gold really more valuable than love?

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