icon_tissue.jpg Ok, I’ll admit I’m not the biggest cheerleader for the Olympics. Various reasons but there is always one story I look forward to hearing. The teams selection of our flag bearer. I almost always tear up when reading about who is selected. This year, is no exception, and I think it couldn’t be more brilliant and a little in your face to the Peoples Republic. Which you know I’m all about!

Another stunning chapter was added to the incredible story of Lopez Lomong when his U.S. Olympic teammates chose the Sudanese refugee as the flag bearer in Friday’s opening ceremony at the 2008 Olympics.

Lomong, who made the Olympic track team by finishing second in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. track trials, spent a decade in a refugee camp in Kenya as one of the “Lost Boys of the Sudan.” He resettled in the United States as a teenager with a family in Syracuse, N.Y.

“This is the most exciting day ever in my life,” Lomong said. “It’s a great honor for me that my teammates chose to vote for me. I’m here as an ambassador of my country, and I will do everything I can to represent my country well.”

Lomong, 23, was 6 when he was abducted from a Sudanese church by militiamen trying to turn children into boy soldiers. He and three other boys escaped and walked several days until they were arrested by Kenyan police because they had unknowingly crossed the border into Kenya.

Come on, if this doesn’t bring at least one tear, something is wrong with you!

So amid the overly commercial “amateur” sporting event, this is in my opinion the teams finest hour. Not only is his story compelling and fabulous he’s also a member of Team Darfur “Now I’m using running to get the word out about how horrible things were back in Sudan during the war. Sometimes these things are not on CNN, so if I put out the word, I hope people can get the information. Right now, similar terrible things are going on in Darfur; people are running out of Darfur, and I put myself in their shoes.”

In years past, we’ve other totally cool flag bearers like in 1960 Rafer L. Johnson , in 1952 Norman C. Armitage (Fencing)and in 1908 the man who would not dip the flag at the royal box in London, Ralph Rose .

Now if only our intrepid reporter friend IRE would send us a missive or two about all his goings on, this story would be complete.

So no happy hour for me, rather I will be firmly planted on my arse Friday night watching the opening ceremony, tissues at the ready, awaiting Mr. Lomong and the team that elected him.

 

17 Responses to The Olympic story that made me cry, part 1

  1. PaulaG says:

    “my apartment here is about 350meters from the stadium and RIGHT AT THE LEVEL where the fireworks were exploding at midnight”

    IRE, I believe that’s what is referred to as “value added”. I can’t believe you wanted to sleep through it.

  2. Dude always looks bored.

    Was a good show at least. I just saw how they lit the cauldron. Wow. That was awesome. And I hate these things.

    I haven’t named my panda yet. Don’t want to get too attached to it. Got my stuffed lamb (Lambie) and blue blanket (Blue Blankie) waiting back home for me.

  3. Kimmiega says:

    I understood the reason, I think it’s just cool that it was different.

    dude..sounds like that would suck.

    what was the “panda’s” name?

    Didn’t hear the booing, must have been edited out at the 8:00 tevee show, but he sure looked really bored at one point.

  4. Parade of Nations (which went for far too f*cking long) was done according to the Chinese alphabet. Totally lame.

    My favorite quotes from the broadcast I got:

    “Here is South Africa…their name in Chinese is XXXX (can’t remember). It translates to: ‘south Africa’.”

    “And the Americans are wearing very traditional American clothing.”

    And how about Bush getting booed?

    I went home and went to sleep about 10pm but my apartment here is about 350meters from the stadium and RIGHT AT THE LEVEL where the fireworks were exploding at midnight (my reaction: “you jerks”). Then I cuddled up with my stuffed panda and went back to sleep.

  5. Parade of Nations (which went for far too f*cking long) was done according to the Chinese alphabet. Totally lame.

    My favorite quotes from the broadcast I got:

    “Here is South Africa…their name in Chinese is XXXX (can’t remember). It translates to: ‘south Africa’.”

    “And the Americans are wearing very traditional American clothing.”

    And how about Bush getting booed?

    I went home and went to sleep about 10pm but my apartment here is about 350meters from the stadium and RIGHT AT THE LEVEL where the fireworks were exploding at midnight (my reaction: “you jerks”). Then I cuddled up with my stuffed panda and went back to sleep.

  6. Kimmiega says:

    Tonga had the best outfits

  7. Kimmiega says:

    I agree.. glad I recorded it, cause I know I missed stuff.

    I cried when the crowd cheered loudly for Tawain..

    I also love that the parade of nations was in a non alphabetical order. They shoudl always do that.

  8. PaulaG says:

    Best. Opening. Ceremonies. Ever.

    Tomorrow I’ll send a check to Save Darfur, but for now? Just wow.

  9. JerryT says:

    FYI, the US uniforms are being made in China.

    Thumbs down on the G.B. uniforms (boring):

    http://tinyurl.com/5vczaq

    Aussies did better, but it’s still just a suit:

    http://tinyurl.com/6jg62l

    Not sure what to think of Canada’s. Was it cold?

    http://tinyurl.com/5snzl7

    I hope New Zealand doesn’t have to use any escalators with their footwear:

    http://tinyurl.com/66vm8t

    Spain’s got it goin’ on!

    http://tinyurl.com/5vv85m

  10. CatherineAtlanta says:

    This Project Runway outfit would have been way better:

    http://tinyurl.com/6ookp3

  11. JerryT says:

    I’m not real thrilled about the Ralph Lauren uniform:

    http://tinyurl.com/5vsu9v

  12. Absolutely that is another story. NBC (the largest rights holder for broadcasting) paid over 1 billion dollars for the rights.

    Yeah, they sellin’ some ads.

  13. CatherineAtlanta says:

    I’d have to agree with IRE about the commercialism of the Olympic Games. When they were here in Atlanta I went to several events expecting all surfaces to covered with corporate logos and was pleasantly surprised to just see the 1996 Olympic branding, which was quite attractive.

    Now, once it gets to TV, it seems overly commercial, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Right, IRE?

  14. And if I could add, the Olympics really isn’t a commerical event, I mean, you can’t even advertise in an Olympic venue for god’s sake. When the Goodyear blimp wanted to fly over the Olympic Stadium in Sydney they had to remove “Goodyear” to do so!

  15. Neither the IOC nor the organizing committees consider the Olympics amateur any more. It was decided in 1990 that professionalism was needed within the Olympics to stay afloat and keep interest up and professionals were first allowed into the Games. Now, many of the sports are still amateur or the players are “professional”, but not really.

    If you are upset about the commercialization of the Olympics you are about 50 years late to the party.

  16. griftdrift says:

    He was on HBO’s Real Sports a couple of months ago and they reunited him with his mother. Have hanky ready if you see it. I was really hopig he would be selected. Very cool.