Just getting back from Nantucket Sound on a beautiful sunrise start to the day, as the sun broke through the gathering of small purple clouds suspended to the south, southeast across the open ocean. You never get tired of sunrises on Cape Cod. Greetings from Osterville, Massachusetts! I thought I might send a shout out to the American athletes who are competing in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Winter Olympics. I had the privilege of attending the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway way back in 1994 and I can tell you from my experience, there is nothing quite like it. In Lillehammer, a town of only 23,000 souls, about 100 miles north of Oslo, Norway’s Capitol, an estimated 1.4 million people visited the tiny hamlet nestled in the rolling countryside of Norway. I stayed in a farm house next to the good folks at CBS News, who were covering the event, and every day I would wake and look out of my window at the miles of nordic ski tracks that zigged and zagged across the rural landscape, acting as the infrastructure for these Nordic peoples to travel from place to place. The large Norwegian Spruce trees were all heavy with snow, with upwards of 4 feet of the white stuff covering the fertile earth. Flags from seemingly every nation fluttered their way down the narrow streets of Lillehammer and the energy that carried those flags was reflected in the smiles and good will of all who attended the 18 day “we are the world” love fest. During that month there were no demonstrations, no violence, no hate…only a microcosm of the world walking, talking, eating, drinking and cheering cross country skiing, alpine events, hockey, ski jumping, figure skating, speed skating, lugeing, bobsledding and, of course, curling. It was a spectacle that I shall never, ever forget. The simplicity of it all, right down to the good Norwegians eating their various fish products and hard grain crackers with their families and friends on the bright white mountain sides, is what struck me the most about the 1994 Olympics. No advertising, no loud noises (other than cow bells), and no broadcasting egos to take away from the magic of it all–this was how the Olympics were meant to be seen. Recently, I watched the downhill run of Lindsey Vonn who, despite a hurt shin, threw herself down a treacherous mountain and won the gold! Congratulations! Also, the enormity of Shaun White’s gravity defying snowboarding half pipe display must be noted as well. Snowboarding being a relative newcomer to the Olympics, came of age a few days ago, with Shaun winning the gold medal, hands down, and solidifying the sport forever. Congratulations! What a breath of fresh air the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have been and my best wishes go out to all of the athletes from around the world who have made it happen! God Bless you all. Have a nice Saturday! Peace~ M
February 20, 2010
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