Friday, August 15, 2008

{{103 down :: 199 to go}}

We're seven days into the most electric two weeks of the year {my personal opinion}. 103 GOLD/SILVER/BRONZE medals have been given out and there are 199 still to be had. 199 more chances to see the hopes and dreams fulfilled of athletes and their respective nations. The US has done quite well in these Games and just think...TRACK and FIELD just started. Oh how I love these WORLD GAMES.

Here are a few of my fave moments thus far ::

TENNIS :: James Blake beat the world's best Roger Federer {of Switzerland} for the very first time and thus helping to strip the Fed Train of his #1 ranking.

Swimming :: Michael Phelps. Electrifying, enough said.

Gymnastics :: Bela Karolyi's guest commentating with Bob Costas just gives me a perma smile. The man has been around awhile and knows the sport. Plus, I love that he just says whatever he how he believes the judging has been unfair and possibly corrupt. Bob Costas looks as if he's afraid for his life anytime Karolyi accuses the Chinese of any corruption or fraudulent behavior. I love it! Is he not the greatest example of what America stands for?!

Here is a man who defected to the US in the early 80's from his home of Communist Romania. Romania had been known to arbitrarily kill or imprison for political, economic or unknown reasons. Hundreds of thousands of native Romanians were abused, tortured, and killed by their own countrymen, Communist leaders. I'm more than proud to be an American...I'm grateful. Instead of being a citizen of the world who grew up seeing communist oppression..I grew up watching our nation embrace those defecting from the violence and injustice of their native land.

Nastia Liuken :: She clinched the same GOLD medal her father, Valeri, won 20 years before. The difference :: Valeri represented the former USSR and his daughter cried as she sang along to her National Anthem of...the United States.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of our Nation's greatest call...thus I give you a little excerpt of the farewell speech from "the Great Communicator", President Ronald Reagan.

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

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