In two weeks the 2014 Winter Olympics will begin followed by the Paralympics in March. Last September it was my honor to be a part of the ITU sprint triathlon world championship held in London. I was able to see athletes who had competed in the 2012 Olympics, also in London, race for their world championship. I was blessed to experience the pride of carrying the “Stars and Stripes” across the finish line and watched in awe as the para-athletes competed in the same venue.
The athletes who are on team USA this winter have endured countless hours of training in order to reach the level of being the best in their field. They will have the opportunity to compete against their peers from nations around the world. Their hope is to bring back gold, but whatever the outcome, the memories that they will bring back will far outshine any medals. They are representing our country and our way of life to the world.
A variety of controversies surround this year’s Olympiad. There are threats from outside sources whose main goal is to terrorize and bring fear to the event. People of faith must stand together united in the belief that love can overcome all obstacles, including those whose main goal is to bring terror and fear. Shame on those who would bring pain, suffering and death to people who only want to compete on the world stage in their chosen sport.
Let us pray for the safe passage of all of the men and women who will be traveling from their countries to Russia. Let us also pray for those who would do harm to the athletes and the spectators that they may have a change of heart and find love where there is hatred, peace where there is fear, and God’s hand in the midst of all humanity holding up hope for the future.