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In the Olympic Spirit!

Posted Jul 26 2012 12:00am
Are you excited that the Olympic Games are about to begin? For some strange reason this is the first time that I'm really looking forward to it. I don't know whether it's living in the host country, where a whole lotta fuss has been made over these games in the past year(s) or whether it's simply because I've become rather obsessed with all things running/fitness related, but who cares.

Fact is: the Games are about to start or, rather, they started last night. And in what fashion... I'm still not over the whole South/North Korea-flag thingy-bob. I mean:

vs. 
[I'm not trying to infringe on any copyright here, thanks websites for letting me link to these...]
Really? It'll no longer be only the North Americans with a reputation of being geographically challenged! (Opinions held in the previous sentence are not the editor's personal ones but are a general sentiment expressed by many Europeans, so don't go shooting the messenger... Just sayin'.) 
Anyhoo, to stay in the positive spirit of the Olympics (yes, let's just forget about McDonald's, Coke, Seb Coe-Schmoe and all those other meanies who are trying to turn the Games into a hassle for us!), let me tell you about this amazing story I came across on the Women's Running blog
In a nutshell, Guor Marial has been given permission by the International Olympic Committee to participate in the marathon under the Olympic flag as he cannot yet race for the newly created state of South Sudan (Sudan offered him a place on their team but after having lost 28 family members to the civil war that raged between the two sides of the country, Guor, understandably, refused to take them up on the offer).
That's him!
If you want a more 'newsy' source for the story, Reuters ran it as well, as did countless other news organizations.
I love this! It really warmed my precious, little heart to learn that there are people with so much integrity out there (Guor passing on the possibility to run in the Olympics; I bet there are plenty of people out there who'd have forgotten about past injustices just to be able to participate!) and with good, honest hearts to allow him, after all the hardship he and his family have been through, to run as an independent. Right, sob story over.
Hubby and I are very, very lucky and got some extra special event tickets. More about that later though. For now it's the Opening Ceremony that I'm looking forward to the most, even if only on TV. Do you remember China's extravaganza four years ago? Heck yeah. Let's see whether Danny Boyle can keep up the standard. I've read there will be sheep and I foresee some Bollywood dancing and Caribbean drums, cause I'm clued-in like that. 
In the meantime, I haven't done much to further my own Olympic hopes other than a not-so-quick 3-mile run yesterday morning (rather slow after less than 12 hours of rest from the previous night's heat-stroke-inducing schlepp!). So who knows how soon I'll beat that 2:15 marathon world record. But I'm sure that after my tennis lesson tonight it's just a matter of four small years until I get to strut my stuff down the Copacabana in a miniscule two-piece while buff men in banana-hammocks tend to my every need as I make my way to the Olympic village to claim my gold medal! Watch this space...
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