You can only imagine how excited I was when Val was asked to be on the Russian Hockey Team for the 1998 Nagano and 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games. I'm telling you, I screamed louder and was more excited about it than he was! I felt like it was my shot at being there and his medals were my medals. Val won Silver in Japan and Bronze in U.S. (both of which I wore on the plane rides home because... 1.) I was SUPER beyond excited and proud to have in my possession a real Olympic medal. 2.) It was REALLY fun to have people think that I won the medal. 3.) Val wouldn't wear the medal because they weren't gold. Sigh... Always the competitor! But we know that unless it's an actual race, coming in any other place other than 1st does NOT make you a "loser" despite my husband's competitive spirit. I think that being a participant is pretty awesome, regardless of the standings.
Here I am with Val and Maks (who was just 3 weeks old). Look closely for the bronze medal around Val's neck!
We can't all be Olympians, but we can participate in the games of life. I watched our U.S. Women's Gymnastic team last night and was in awe of what they could do. And no, I didn't grow a sudden love for gymnastics because I was on show about it. I've always loved watching the sport and seeing their dedication, commitment, endurance, strength: both mentally and physically, and heart gives me chills. No, I can't walk and flip on a 4 inch beam or swing from 2 bars let alone kip up on one. But I can exhibit the same kind of dedication, endurance, strength and commitment in my life. Each one of us can be an Olympian in our own right. We can sacrifice and strengthen our resistant muscles to say "No" to junky foods and to get up and get out to work out every day.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Did you catch the interview with Gabby Douglas last night after she clinched her spot to compete in the All-Around Finals? They asked her how she mentally prepared and said she gives it to God and meditates on scripture!!!! This girl gave the glory to God boldly and I just about whooped and hollered on my couch! Gabby is a Christian and I was overjoyed at watching her share her testimony at her church days before London. Watch it here and be encouraged by this 15 year old! http://vimeo.com/45535275
So, how is your Olympic spirit doing? If you've got God on your side, you're in the games! Let's take a look at these athletes and learn from them that with perseverance, endurance and a willingness to learn and try new things, we can mold and shape our bodies into the one we would like to see it become.
In my Bure jersey, rooting on Team Russia in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics with Maks. I painted his little hat and the t-shirt underneath is jacket with a Russian flag and numbers 20 and 10 (for Val and his brother Pavel).