I love the outdoors, the wind in my face and a glug of something warming after a great day on the slopes. I’m lucky enough to have recently enjoyed a ski trip alongside some of my travel industry colleagues, which is always great fun and good for business.
Days spent in meetings or chained to a desk often mean it’s easy to lose sight of how important it is to break free a little, and look at things with the blessing of fresh air and some extra adrenalin running through your veins.
This year I had the excitement of being extra-inspired by the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang – though while I might have thought I had the speed of Team GB’s cross-country skier Andrew Musgrave and the boldness of skeleton slider Lizzy Yarnold, in reality I was a little more Eddie the Eagle.
As with any major event taking place on the global stage and under a huge media spotlight, the Olympics this year has provided key learnings for businesses. Even I remember the shirtless Tongan flag bearer from the summer Rio Olympics who set social media, and hearts, alight. In South Korea he has returned with his famous – and well oiled – torso on show, only this time in sub-zero temperatures. The lesson learned? If you have something people truly love, bring it back, no matter how much it hurts.
Meanwhile, capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide was teenage Team USA snowboarder Red Gerard, who on the day of his final overslept and lost his jacket – and yet still went on to win a gold medal. A hero for teenagers everywhere, Red also shows us that when you’ve trained and prepared for years to be the best, a few hiccups won’t change anything. Congratulations Red, I hope you’re enjoying several celebratory lie-ins!
Team GB’s first medal, a bronze for Dom Parsons in the skeleton, was an amazing moment for sports and science fans alike. Innovation in the form of a new aerodynamic custom-made super skin-suit has been credited with providing a millisecond edge for the team. Dom is working on his PhD in mechanical engineering and has helped design his own skeleton equipment. He is the kind of team member every business would love to have. Not only is he among the best at his physical task at hand, he is also applying his intellectual capability to enhancing the sport for the rest of his team. Great work, Dom.
While I was whizzing (or perhaps more accurately dawdling) down a mountain, I had the joy of some time to think about how 2018 is shaping up. Here at Celebrity Cruises we didn’t plan that the attractive torsos of the Love Island stars we’re working with would have quite the reaction of the flag bearer from Tongo, but they have certainly whipped up a booking frenzy from our agent friends.
With teamwork, preparation and commitment – all focused on how we are a better partner to our agents – we’ve enjoyed a start to the year ahead of expectations. What I need is another trip to the slopes for the inspiration and breathing space to help find the next great medal-winning moment.
Jo Rzymowska is managing director UK and Ireland and Asia Pacific at Celebrity Cruises