Tonight coverage of the Olympics gets started and at my house that means the TV will be on for a lot of hours over the next 15 days. I grew up in a house that celebrated the Olympics like crazy people. I came unglued in 1972 when the Soviet Union robed the United States Men’s basketball team of the gold medal. I jumped outta my seat when Mark Spitz became the best swimmer in the world at the same games. I was a perplexed boy in ’68 when Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fist and lowered their heads during the medal ceremony. And it’s not just the Games of my youth, “Do You Believe In Miracles?”, Carl Lewis playing the role of Jessie Owens, Dan Jansen finally winning Gold, Michael Phelps owning the pool in Sydney and Beijing. Who could ever forget the electric moment in Atlanta’s Opening Ceremony, when Muhammad Ali stepped out from behind the final riser holding the Olympic torch high- poised to ignite the Olympic Flame. My memories also include that horrible horrible day in 1972 when terrorism interjected itself into the Games. 40 years ago and the coverage is still fresh in my mind like it was yesterday.
Who knows what excitement lies ahead? The stories of these people fascinate me. 99.9 percent know they don’t have a snowballs chance of claiming any medal. They DO know they have a chance to compete, to make themselves better. They DO know they will do their very best. That’s what appeals to me. We all face daily challenges. We all know that we will never win a medal just for doing out best. It’s just this simple:
We have to go out everyday, and try to top yesterday’s best. And if yesterday wasn’t our best, we have to learn from our mistakes and work that much harder. You don;t have to be the best in the world, just as long as it is your personal best every day. If we don’t keep climbing. If we don’t keep making ourselves better people, better human beings – we lose.
I want to be a winner . . . . . .