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U.S. Olympic Trials Inspiration

Every four years, I am mesmerized by the atheltic performances of the Olympics. I prefer the summer games just a bit more than the winter games because I can relate to the variety of events a little easier than curling, biathlon, bobsled, and other sports from the Arctic Circle. I have been watching the Olympic Trials with the excitement I still remember from watching the “Miracle on Ice” — the U.S. hockey team beating the unbeatable Russians in 1980 and going on to win the gold. I was a senior in high school.

I’m one of millions who was awe-struck and inspired by the US swimmers. 41-yr. old Dara Torres, 9-time Olympic medalist, beating 19-yr. old Natalie Coughlin to win the 100 free and become the only 5-time U.S. Olympic swimmer ever. But then winning the 50 free, too! I’ll bet she lands a big endorsement with Nivea or Oil of Olay (she is a former model). Oh, and don’t forget the Wheaties box.

Then there was the bitter-sweet. Ryan Lochte breaking the world record in the 400 IM swim but still losing to Phelps. On the track, Kara Goucher goes to Beijing in the rare double — 5000 and 10,000 while her husband Adam failed to qualify in the 10,000. She cried.

On almost every race or event, I thought about the ones who took 3rd or 4th place and did not make it to Beijing. They trained every bit as hard as those who made it, but missed it in some cases by 1/100th of a second. I guess that’s why they call it the “Trials.” I think it’s the effort, the dedication and the commitment that captivates me. I know how hard I train–harder than almost anyone I know. But it pales in comparison to the effort these athletes put out over many years.

Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff…enough said. I’ll be watching most of the Olympics while on vacation in Maui.

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