Patricia McCormick - Sharing The Olympic Spirit
Sharing the Olympic Spirit
McCormick's persistence paid off while combating another opponent: life after the Olympics. In a profile issued by the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 1996, McCormick recalled the empty feeling that can hit athletes once Olympic glory fades: "You see, all our lives we have had someone to tell us what to do, how to do it. Then, your whole life dissolves into that one moment. When you step up on that victory stand, you're going to be deserted. All the support systems you had are going after their next project. They can't tell you how to handle success, they can only tell you how to achieve it. The trick is to stay on that victory stand."
Realizing the need for an education, McCormick enrolled at Long Beach City College in the 1960s, graduating thirteen years later. During an interview with Dr. Margaret Costa for the Amateur Athletic Association of Los Angeles, she explained the reason for her life-long motivation and self-discipline: "Not having the skills to do something I want to do has been the story of my life. Whether it was college or diving or being a parent, I have had to develop my own skills and knowledge on my own in order to be successful."
McCormick still enjoys an active sports life, especially horse riding, scuba diving, golfing, body surfing, and skiing. She has since focused her optimism and resolve on another arena—helping others realize their dream. This generosity of spirit, flowing from her extensive charity work and motivational speaking, is her way of remaining on the victory stand.