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And the Olympic gold goes to – the cubicle champion?

A sponsor of the US Olympic team is offering a free trip to the 2010 Vancouver Games for an office worker who triumphs amid high cubicle barriers, empty toner cartridges, and meetings that never end.

By Staff writer / December 11, 2009

Short-track speedskater Jean-Francois Monette, a champion of a different kind, lights the Olympic flame at Montreal's Olympic Stadium during the Olympic Torch relay Wednesday.

Paul Chiasson/AP

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A cubicle in Boston

If your biggest workout of the week is prying yourself out of your office chair, you still have a chance to go to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games – and not as a spectator. As a champion.

Oh yes. You, too, can be an Olympic champion – of the office. All thanks to Adecco, a human resources company that wants to find those who approach their cubicles, copy machines, and countless meetings with the Olympic spirit?

In true Olympic fashion, three medals will be awarded. Gold gets you an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Vancouver Olympics. Silver and bronze winners will get a camcorder, so they can, um ... tape themselves sitting on the couch with NBC’s coverage of Whistler’s pristine slopes in the background.

Know someone in your office who imbibes the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius? (Or even knows what it means? Answer: faster, higher, stronger.) Who can fix the jammed copier, who actually knows where the replacement toner cartridge is, or who manages to keep meetings to the length they were meant to be?

Then nominate your superstar coworker by Dec. 22 with a one-minute video about him or her at MyOfficeChampion.com. (If your pick wins, you get $500.)

Now, jokes aside, it may seem trivial to compare the feats of us mere mortals to those of people who careen down mountains faster than we drive to work; who go face-first down icy tracks at 90 mph; who have the grace to applaud the success of their fellow competitors after missing their own goals at the biggest event of their careers.

But Adecco has a point.

As a former Olympic hopeful who knows something of the discipline, perseverance, and commitment to excellence that it takes to train for that level of competition, I would say that the challenge of honing those qualities and daily striving to be better is just as hard amid cubicles as it is on a rink or a trail.

Maybe more so. Because most of the time, there is no gold medal. There is no plan that is just about you, and your success, and the year by year, month by month, week by week plan to enable you to reach it. It often has more to do with teamwork – with finesse, diplomacy, patience, maybe even humility. With work that others may never know about.

I look forward to watching those videos on MyOfficeChampion.com. Because if it’s anything like the real Olympics, even those who don’t win a medal will be worth applauding.

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