Frederick Bilodeau: Motivation Behind the Gold

Cameon ShiflettSenior Analyst IFebruary 17, 2010

If you watched the Olympics last night, you might have seen the story on Canadian mogul Alexandre Bilodeau and his brother Frederick.

Frederick Bilodeau was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and was told by doctors that he would not walk past the age of ten, among other issues that he would have to face all throughout his life.

As a kid, Alex watched his older brother, and grew to learn how to take care of him. Alex loved the sport he gave so much time to, and it was evident from a young age that he had a talent for it.  It just took so much time. Time, which he wanted to spend with his brother, or even doing other things.

Alex didn’t realize that the sport he loved so much was also something that his older brother wanted and enjoyed watching him do.

Frederick Bilodeau would be the motivation that kept this Canadian Gold medalist from quitting the sport he loved.

Alex Bilodeau commented on how his brother proved to be his biggest motivator. “Whenever I start complaining about the rain or having to go train, I look at my brother and how grateful he is to still be walking at 28, and he is doing so because of his determination to not quit. It makes me realize quitting isn’t an option.”

In the 2006 Olympic Games, Alex missed a landing on a jump he had nailed so many times before. He was disappointed. He was embarrassed. Alex told his brother he couldn’t believe he had done that to which he was greeted with a smile, pat on the back, and his brother telling him, “But you were competing in the Olympics.”

Alex said it was then he knew he would win the Gold medal in 2010 for his brother that kept him going, and he did last night, with Frederick at his side.

Frederick being the motivation to his brother Alex has helped Alex become the motivation to so many young athletes to stay determined and to get better.

Frederick, and his ability to overcome, has inspired many with learning disabilities to strive to be the best they can be.

It’s easy to watch sports and never think about hardships or challenges a player might have had to endure to reach where they are now.  

It’s easy to watch athletes “do what they do” and not think about the motivation they feed off of to keep them going.

We all have people or situations that keep us motivated, no matter how small it may seem at the time. We may not use our motivation to win a Gold medal, but what if it contributes to someone else’s fortune?

Frederick was Alex’s motivation. What’s yours?