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WRITE TEAM: Can't wait to cheer Team USA

Lee Ann Raikes
Lee Ann Raikes

One of my favorite global events just began — the Olympics! 
 
The games are about so much more than the sporting events taking center stage. The five rings symbolize failure, sacrifice, redemption, dedication, perseverance, the competitive/human spirit, and triumph to name a few. I compare the Olympics to Disney World, a place where people of all nations come together in unity and celebration. A happy place. A place where issues that divide us are put aside and there is proof of a peaceful existence. This is the world I pray for!

One of my favorite aspects of the games is the back stories of the athletes. I can’t help but be inspired, motivated, and moved by, not only their physical strength, but their mental capacity to overcome tremendous obstacles that stood in the way of their dreams. Their focus and drive is a testament to the depths of the human spirit. These athletes have proven that nothing and no one would stand in their way. Such sheer determination can be transferred into daily life. There will be difficult circumstances, people telling you no, and perhaps even the feeling that you are trapped in an undesirable situation; however, nothing will change unless you find that inner strength to make it change. Like the adage says, “Nothing worth doing is ever easy.” If it was, everybody would be doing it. Great champions and great humans in general, are created due to the hurdles they have encountered along the way.

It was thought that the first Olympic games were held as a plea for world peace and unity among nations. Since I refuse to give up hope that one day this will become a reality, I like this assumption. Over the past few years, there have been ongoing conflicts in our world; however, throughout the two weeks of the games, tensions have been ceased and nations have come together in support of their athletes. Why can’t this continue when the games are over?

Finally, I just love watching these athletes compete at the highest level. Though some may win a medal and some may not, it is all about the journey in the end. I tend to ride the emotions of the athletes in both victory and defeat. I feel their pain when they realize what they have been training for over the course of the past four years has not turned out how they dreamed it would. I cheer when the athlete who was thought not to have a chance surpassed even his or her own expectations to take home the gold, silver, or bronze. Sports live and die on raw emotion sometimes and I am right there experiencing it all.

In the end, the Olympics have many parallels to life. If you fall down and get back up, you won. If you put in the blood, sweat, and tears and have given your best, you won. If you have the courage to try and push yourself farther than you thought you ever could, you won. If you had a dream, turned that dream into action and made it a reality, you won. If you finally took a stand against the naysayers, you won. We are all champions in our own right. Can’t wait to cheer the red, white, and blue. GO TEAM USA!
  • LEE ANN RAIKES is a kid trapped in an adult body, living life out loud, while never giving up hope for peace in the world. She can be reached by emailing stephanies@mywebtimes.com.

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