Friday, February 28, 2014

Excellence, friendship and respect

     Come snow, rain, sleet or sun, the party for returning gold-medal Olympian Kaitlyn Farrington on Saturday is not to be missed. It’s not every day a local athlete makes it big.

     The festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. at Warm Springs Lodge at the base of Bald Mountain and capped at 4:45 p.m. with an official ceremony to honor the snowboard halfpipe champion. Celebrants will be the first to find out which local run Sun Valley Resort will name for Farrington in its tradition of naming runs for local athletes who bring home medals from the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

     A big turnout for the celebration will demonstrate our justifiable community-wide pride in her big win and show support for the ideals embodied by the Olympic tradition: excellence, friendship and respect. Her genuine and easy-going manner exudes those ideals.

     It’s important to understand the foundation of the Olympic Games in order to understand what participants really achieve every four years. It’s bigger than they are. It’s about more than sport, even though that’s easy to forget when the world’s audience is caught up in ever more elaborate opening and closing ceremonies, which have become utterly jaw-dropping displays of host nations’ culture and arts.

     The Olympic Creed is simple: “The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

     These are words to live by. In the midst of celebrating the speed, strength, grace and courage of our returning heroine, let us remember them and try to apply them to our lives, our families, our communities and our world.

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