Olympic Games raise USA pride

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2008


“Go! Go baby, go!”

“He won! He won!”

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“Yaay! Yaaay, USA!”

My peaceful slumber had been disturbed by my dear wife, Laurie.She was bursting with patriotic pride as she cheered mightily forMichael Phelps and the USA men’s swimming team.

For sure, Phelps is an outstanding physical specimen who hasdevoted his life to swimming. Basically, he eats, sleeps and swims.His gold medal total surpasses all previous Olympic greats.

There are numerous other athletic events to watch, too.Together, we had oooed and ahhed at the precision performance ofthe tiny female gymnasts who whirled, twisted, leaped and sparkledfor the world to see.

Certainly, the Chinese girls should be congratulated for theirexpertise. The U.S. gymnastic men’s team captured a silver medalafter being considered also-rans at best. The women’s team cameclose to winning gold but they stumbled and settled for silver.

Glued to living room television sets in the late hours of thenight, Americans across the USA have cheered mightily for the U.S.Olympic Team; losing sleep in the process. Competing in Beijing,China, half way around the world, the Olympic Games arrive clearlyand in beautiful color, compliments of NBC.

Phelps is one of the many American heroes who will parade acrossthe screen in the next week of activity. Yes, it is a spectacularview. The facilities at Beijing, built for an estimated $60billion, are a showcase for the gigantic nation.

Laurie doesn’t plan to replace her beautiful flower beds withbeach sand and a volleyball net but the sport does deserve support.The Americans, men and women, are talented athletes who make ahabit of winning on the beach.

And, speaking of volleyball, why don’t more high schools inMississippi have female volleyball teams?

College scholarships are available. Mississippi State, Ole Missand Southern Miss provide athletic scholarships for outstandingvolleyball players. Scan the Big Three rosters and you’ll see thatmost of the players are from out of state.

Why not replace slowpitch softball with volleyball?

Volleyball is a winter sport but it could be played during thefirst few months of school, in the gymnasium.

Personally, we are looking forward to the track and fieldevents. Softball is gaining more fans and support due to the USA’ssuccessful run.

China has worked overtime to be competitive in all Olympicsporting events. Millions of dollars have been spent on behalf ofscreening and training young athletes.

By contrast, much of China is rural and the people are poor.They are oppressed by a Communist government which severely limitsexpressions of freedom. Many Christians are confined to jails.

Christians meet secretly in private homes to worship God. Thewalls are thin, so they actually whisper through a worshipservice.

By contrast, the sports venue is outstanding and China has bentoverboard to put its best foot forward. Meanwhile, the other footcrushes protest marchers and is soaked with the blood of innocent,God-fearing people who seek political freedom.

For sure, it is a privilege to live in the USA and enjoy themany freedoms we take for granted. Remember to pray for ourmilitary men and women who are fighting for freedom.

Team Impact is coming to Macedonia Baptist Church. Packed withamazing feats of strength, you don’t want to miss the event thatwill take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at the church’sfamily center/gymnasium. A special message will be delivered duringSunday morning’s 10:30 worship service. If you enjoy watchingmuscular athletes and hearing a dynamic evangelism message,Macedonia is the place to be.

Team Impact promotes and encourages Bible-believing followers ofJesus Christ. It provides a wonderful venue for adults, childrenand family.

Macedonia Minister of Students Joey Bland said a large turnoutis expected. Seventeen churches have announced their plans toattend the programs. Radio and television coverage isanticipated.

Members of Team Impact will visit two schools, Loyd Star andBrookhaven Academy, Friday afternoon.

For more information, contact the Macedonia Church office at(601) 833-6760. The Rev. Garland Boyd is pastor.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com