The Olympics are Over :(

Well, the summer Olympics are officially over.  Now we have to wait another four years for them to come around.  I have to say it was a great Olympics.  The US has the most medals overall and we lead in every category!  Love it!!  Go Team USA!

I'm going to spin this, so get ready! 

In the US, our athletic system is set-up that if a person is interested in a sport, they can, if they want, choose to pursue said sport to the level they want.  If they want to drop out at any point, ok, no problem.  We not only love the athletes that medal, but all our athletes, and especially the ones who overcome great obstacles to even go to the Olympics.  For example, there was a 37 year old American who ran the men's marathon.  You know where he placed?  4th.  He placed 4th & he's 37!  He was running against guys who were 7-15 years younger.  Now, I'm not going to lie, I wish he had won a medal, but I'm not going to rebuff him because he didn't.  He put in years of training to get to this point, and to dishonor him is unacceptable.  What's so cool about the US team is that the athletes, their family, and friends helped them to get to where they are today.  Have you watched the athletes, parents & friends when they win a medal?  It's awesome!

Now let's look at the way the communist countries "recruit" and treat their athletes. 

The Chinese government with different athletic groups will go into preschools and elementary schools, looking for certain traits.  If a child is found with those traits, they can and will take the child away from their parents and send them to a training center. The Chinese diver Wu Minxia's parents said this: “We accepted a long time ago that she doesn’t belong entirely to us,” Wu Yuming told the Shanghai Morning Post. “I don’t even dare to think about things like enjoying family happiness.”  You need to read the entire article, because it goes a lot deeper than you think & you know what?  I think it stinks.  I watched the athletes from China & they didn't look happy to be there.  It's like it was just another bump on the long road of their athletic careers.  Hey guys, this is the Olympics, this is a big deal, but to them, they risk utter shame from their country if they do not produce. 

It makes me sad.  I feel sad for all of them:  the gold medalist and everyone else.  Because that's how they look at it.  "If you're not first, you're last."  (to quote the great Ricky Bobby)  I think the Chinese people are beautiful people.  Their history and culture is rich in tradition, but it has been made ugly by a corrupt political system.  Do they get results, yes.  But I think it speaks volumes when you see the USA, a free country, beat them in the only thing they shoot for, winning.  Here is a great article written by Ron Cantor which is better written than this posting. 

I guess I'll be in withdrawals for a few days, but then I just remembered that the para Olympic games are about to start & the winter Olympics are only two years away!!!

Celebrating Life!
~ashley

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