Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Favorites

This weeks Friday Favorite is dedicated to the London Olympics.  Who doesn't love the Olympics?

The Olympics are always full of amazing athletes with truly inspiring stories and these Olympic Games did not disappoint.  I have spent the past two weeks enjoying every minute of the games that I could.  I don't know a lick about fencing, but I watched with enthusiasm. Water polo, don't get it, but I cheered with each goal.  Sprint cycling really confused me but I was enthralled by it.  

Yesterday Zachary and I sat on the couch watching the U.S. women play the Japanese women in the gold medal soccer match.  The game was so good.  Each woman on the field poured their heart and soul into the full 92 minutes and 20 seconds of play.  At the end of the game I will admit, I got a little choked up for both teams.  I was so proud of the U.S. woman and how amazingly they had played, not just in that game but the entire Olympic tournament.  My heart ached for the Japanese woman as they broke down in tears on the field.  

The soccer game is just a tiny drop in the bucket when it comes to amazing athletes with inspiring stories from these Olympic games.  Take Wojdan Shaherkani (judo), at just 16 years old she became the first woman to ever compete in the Olympics for Saudi Arabia.  Her Olympic moment was over in 82 seconds but it will be 82 seconds of her life that she will never forget.  

Hiroshi Hoketsu, 71, is the oldest athlete competing in the London Olympics.  He competed in his first Olympic games in Tokyo in 1964.  When asked about the Rio games in 2016 his concern with competing was age, not his age, the age of his horse.  I hope when I am 71 I have his spunk!

Oscar Pistorius, made Olympic history by being the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics.  He qualified for the semi-final race of the 400m but did not make it to the finals.  He will be running in the finals of the 4x400 with the South African team.  I can't wait to watch, wouldn't it be great to see him on the podium with his team!  

Of course, I can't write this post without mentioning Gabby Douglas.  Gabby made history twice, first for being the first african-american woman to win the gold medal in the individual all-around and for being the first woman to win the gold in both the individual all-around and the team final.  Inspiring for little girls (and boys) everywhere!

I could spend all day writing about the athletes and their stories.  I love to hear their backgrounds.  We can learn a lot from some of them.  Not every athlete has been surrounded by love and support their entire career.  Take Guor Marial, the marathon runner that is running without a country to sponsor him. Guor learned to run by running for his life in Sudan.  He currently lives in the U.S. as a refugee, but is not a U.S. citizen nor is he a citizen of any country.  Despite all that he has been through in his life he is an Olympian.  I will be cheering for him this weekend as he runs, this time not for his life but for himself.

The Olympics are a time to fill our hearts with pride for our athletes and be in awe of those who have fought hard and face unimaginable obstacles to be where they are today.  I applaud each and every one of them! I <3 the Olympics!

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