Hard to believe, the Summer Olympics came to an end and I find myself so inspired and encouraged by moments, athletes and a country that made the impossible possible by coming up with an amazing show.
Let me star with the opening ceremonies: Spectacular, mind blowing, incredible, astonishing, you name it! That evening the Alamosa High School Cross Country team had a 24 hour relay going on at their dirt track for fundraising purposes. I had no worries as I knew I could replay the opening ceremonies on the Internet. After my 6 mile leg at the middle school dirt track, I rushed home to watch the second part of the opening ceremonies with the rest of the family.
What about Michael Phelps and the entire swimming team? I do not know much about swimming, but what I saw on T.V. was just phenomenal. Phelps is just an example of how far years of hard training, commitment, and dedication can take you. Along with a network of support that made sure he was ready to go and get the job done. It was wonderful to see my 3 year old nephew get excited for the swimming competitions.
My most favorite moment was to watch Shawn Johnson win a individual gold medal on the beam. She stole my heart from day one. I admire her personality and professionalism. She never stopped smiling and cheering on her teammates. I admit I cried as she received her well deserved individual gold medal, cried some more when they were playing the national anthem and had a few tears come out when they interviewed her about her experience.
Many people e-mail me asking about my thoughts about the Women’s Olympic Marathon. Definitely, anything can happen in a marathon. I was extremely happy for Constantina Dita from Romania. She went for it and her courageous move paid off. This is an example of an athlete who never gave up and kept persevering. Finally, after many years of training and experience Constantina made it to the top winning the biggest honor of all, the Olympic GOLD medal.
I was in shock when Deena Kastor had to stop. I could not believe it. The first question that came to mind was WHY? Why Deena and why now? Deena has been an inspiration to me since the very first time I learned about her back in 1999. I admire her not only as the discipline fast runner she is, but I admire her as the women and kind person she is. It was unfortunate that she had to stop at the Olympics. I am confident she will bounce back and heal soon from this experience. If there is anyone that can handle staff like this is her. Deena is a fighter and will make the best of this experience.
If there is anything I learned from this Summer Olympics is that a single race or event does not determine who we are; but the journey, experiences, victories and defeats are the ones that help us define who we truthfully are.