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Let The Games Begin!

July 28th, 2012

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I love the Olympics.  As far back as I can remember, I spent countless hours dreaming about representing the USA in the Olympics – in any sport.

When I was young, it was the drama and emotion of the competition between individuals and between countries that motivated me.  The 1972 Munich Olympics are the first Olympics I remember – I was eight.  If you watched – how can you forget: Pre, Frank Shorter, Mark Spitz, the USA vs. USSR basketball game, the massacre.  All of these events shaped my dream of competing for the USA in front of the eyes of the world – to win spectacularly for my country. 
 
As a 48-year-old parent of 8- and 10-year-old children, I am still deeply moved by the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat – but it’s something bigger that moves me now.  More than any other sporting event, the Olympic Games showcase the sacrifice for all involved in the journey of each Olympic athlete.

No success in life comes without sacrifice, and success (and its many meanings) is the ultimate reward.  As I watch my children urge on the American athletes, I realize that sacrifice is a word they are not currently equipped to understand.  I understand sacrifice well and wonder if I’m up for the challenge should my children follow their Olympic dreams.  I wonder if I’m up for the challenge should their dreams become reality.

To all those who played a part in the realization of an athlete’s Olympic dreams – I salute you.  And to the Olympics: thank you for helping me understand that sport is about so much more than competition and sacrifice is what makes success so much sweeter.

Indeed: Let the Games begin.

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