“My one aim was just to be a champion. That is what I came here to do”
– Jamaican 100m champion, Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt breaks away from the pack leaving them a considerable distance behind, to win gold in the men’s 100m final and break the World Record in style.
What a class act – the United States announced today that Lopez Lomong, a former child prisoner from war-torn Sudan, will lead the their team into the National Stadium in Beijing for the start of the 2008 Olympics.
Lomong is now an American citizen and was chosen to be the flag bearer after a vote by his fellow team members. His journey is inspiring to say the least. Born in Southern Sudan; kidnapped and separated from his parents at age 6 during a civil war; Lopez escaped and made it to a refugee camp in Kenya, where he spent more than a decade before coming to the United States in 2001 and qualifying to represent his adopted country in the Olympics for the 1,500-meter race.
China has long been criticized for not intervening in Africa especially in Sudan’s Darfur region where they have business interests. China has a long standing policy of “non-interference”, but is quickly learning that as it grows in strength, it has a moral responsibility to influence positive change globally.
Hopefully Lomong’s long journey will act as an inspiration to millions of Chinese citizens and help them recognize that the hopes and aspirations of Darfuri’s are no different that their very own – bringing us closer to the “One World, One Dream” ideal of the Olympics.
Here is to a wonderful Beijing Olympics. Good luck to the host nation and to all the inspirational athletes partipating in China.
LET PISTORIOUS RUN !!!
It looks like double-amputee South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius may still be able to compete in the Beijing Olympics this year if he achieves the required times.
The IAAF had barred Pistorius, who runs the 400m sprint from competing, arguing that his carbon fibre “Cheetah” prosthetics may give him a technical edge unavailable to other runners.
Pistorius, 21, had both legs amputated below the knee when he was less than a year old. “These have always been my legs,” he told Jere Longman in a Times profile last year. “I train harder than other guys, eat better, sleep better and wake up thinking about athletics. I think that’s probably why I’m a bit of an exception.”
TIME Magazine ranks Oscar Pistorius as one of the 100 most influential people of 2008. The 21-year-old Pistorius had long learned not to consider his artificial legs a hindrance, even refusing to park his car in a spot for disabled people.