THE FUTURIAN #3
As Misha felt the anticipation rippling through the stadium, her brother’s ideas about the possible steadied her heart once more.
Years ago. In those moments together watching the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they were in awe at the effort required for victory. They felt inspired by a city struggling with hope in the midst of a pandemic. They began to be motivated by the back stories of winners and losers alike. Then during the second week of The Games, Tom gave birth to their dreams with just two words: “Could we?”
Tom was just 17 when he spoke those two words. Misha, 15.
Tom was not sporty, but his sister was. He was good at figuring things out, at maths, at science. She at running, at jumping, and doing backflips in the backyard. He enjoyed his physics classes at school and was just one of those smart kids who was always going to go on and do really well at university. She was looking forward to the gymnastics classes that her school ran and was trying to figure out how to travel the world and do athletics at the same time.
But those two words, “could we”, set them both on a path far beyond the walls of the room in which they sat.
As Misha approached her starting position for the 400m final, she was glad her brother’s words had come true. For her journey to this race at the 2032 Brisbane Olympics had been like what she saw on the TV way back in 2021.
Yes, there was the travel to run races. Yes, there were the funded opportunities for her to pursue her chosen career, and yes there were the many friendships to be enjoyed. But there was also the heartache of losing races, of rebuilding back to personal best times after injury, and the setbacks that came with coaching changes.
But she had made it, just like Tom had.
It didn’t really surprise his family or friends that he won some major science awards in his early twenties. It just seemed to be par for the course for him to come up with big ideas that met with success. Whether it was his inventions that made life better for the people around him, or his innovations that made local businesses better for all concerned. Tom had worked hard, just like Misha had. He too had suffered setbacks and had wallowed at times in…