On My Mind

What I learnt at the Olympics

Olympic silver medalist Jordan Chiles shows her medal in Universal City, US, on Aug 11, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

In the film Collateral, where Tom Cruise plays a hitman, he's talking jazz in a club with his unsuspecting next victim. The subject of conversation is Miles Davis, the talismanic trumpeter, and the other man, talking about Davis' singular focus, tells Cruise: "That's the way he was when he was in his musical headspace. Fierce."

It's how I remember the athletes in Tokyo. Fierce. And in an athletic headspace we'll never fully understand. This is the poker-face championship of the planet. This is not God-given talent; this is single-minded labour.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.