The Winter Olympics are well and truly underway, providing daily entertainment as we get to watch athletes compete in the pinnacle of their sport – but, has it ever crossed your mind that some of the skills and attributes of these winter sports are similar to the foundations of running a business?

Here, we break down 4 Winter Olympic sports and their similarities to running a business.

 

Winter Olympics

(Photo Cred: Nine Wide World of Sports)

 

1. Figure Skating 

 

Figure skaters look graceful and beautiful as they jump, spin and glide across the ice – but beneath those tricks are numbers, as each element is given a score predicated on its base value, execution, and level of difficulty. When figure skaters are choreographing their routine, they must conduct risk evaluations on their combinations – risk of falling, slipping, deductions etc. They must also calculate how many points a combination is worth if successfully executed and determine whether it is going to be more beneficial to take the risk and attempt a harder trick, or not.

This same concept is applied in business – risk evaluations are constantly performed on the business itself and for clients, determining the most effective long-term solutions and weighing the risk vs. benefits. Risks sometimes fundamentally need to be taken for a greater and more successful outcome, as most business leaders view risk as a cost of opportunity. In order for the risk level to be lessened, you need to have a deep understanding of your strengths and know what your capabilities are.

 

2. Alpine Skiing 

 

Did you know that there are actually 5 different disciplines in the alpine skiing category – Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super-G, Downhill and Combined – “alpine skiing” is just the umbrella term. Some athletes like to specialize in 1- 2 of the categories, and others like to do all 5, competing in an “alpine biathlon”. However, their schedule and program is absolutely exhausting – hence why not many athletes compete in all 5 categories; it’s simply too much to take on, time is taken away from them focusing on their strongest event (giving them the best chance at winning Gold!) and they need to have very diverse skills as different rules and techniques apply.

In business – particularly as the business owner, it can be easy to wear multiple hats and take on more than you can handle. It is therefore important you prioritize your time and tasks appropriately, to help ensure maximum success – putting your efforts into your strongest areas rather than spreading yourself too thin, and if you must, outsource someone to help with your weaker areas.

 

3. Bobsledding & 

4. Curling 

 

Bobsledding and curling – two Winter Olympic sports that require very effective teamwork and communication.

Bobsledding is deemed the most dangerous Winter Olympic sport and entails impeccable teamwork and communication to avoid disaster, as a team push and drive a bobsled down an iced track at high-speed. Each team member has a specific role adhering to their individual strengths, and they need to play that role successfully in order to have a clean run.

Curling requires strength, balance, stamina, and strategy to help ensure the best results, as teammates must work together to create an effectual game plan to get the highest score per game – with the player calling out directions needing to be clear in their instructions, and the sweepers clear on where they need to guide the stone.

The same concept applies in business – for a business to run successfully, the team needs to work together; ensuring everyone is on the same page through effective communication, and capitalizing on their strengths to maximize achieving success.