Valley Viewpoints: Lessons from the Olympics

by Bob and Sandy Weston of Fulton

Watching the Olympics was a thrill for us.

For 17 days, 204 countries competed for a gold, silver or bronze metal with 85 of those countries earning a medal and 8 of those countries for the first time.

We witnessed a combination of outstanding athletes, dedicated coaches, proud parents, families and friends, and spirited fans cheering their athletes and their country to victory.

There are so many adjectives to describe the Olympics as we reflect on the competitions that brought together the best athletes in the world to compete against each other as representatives of their own individual country.

We watched in amazement as the athletes competed to set new personal highs and records.

We were inspired by their sportsmanship and the respect that each of the athletes had for their competitor.

It mattered not what country they came from. All the different cultures came together for the same reason.

We watched as athletes were jubilant with their victories, congratulating each other and consoling each other at the same time for their loss.

We saw the cheers, we saw the tears, we saw the frustrations and we saw the disappointments. We never saw any hostility toward one another.

Two memorable moments for us was the young man who had lost his legs when he was only months old running his long dreamed race on prosthetics and the young man facing the hurdles with an injury, falling and then getting up and hopping to leave but who changed his mind and hopped next to each hurdle to kiss the final hurdle, which signaled that he completed the race as best he could. Neither of these two young men were quitters.

The lessons that can be learned from the Olympics we can carry on throughout our lives as we use team work, discipline, pride, compassion, and caring not only for ourselves but others as our motto.

We thank the Olympic committee and all the men, women and children that it took to prepare for and present the pageantry that we saw prior to and subsequent to the main show.

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