If you watched the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in London (www.london2012.com), you may have noticed the five, brightly-lit Olympic rings appearing to float on the water.
I saw a similar scene, when I attended the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010, and took this daytime view photo of the rings, and the barge they were sitting on, whenever I was out exploring the city. (The first photograph is just a "photoshopped" version of this original photo, since I am only participating in the 2012 London Olympics, as one of the millions watching the events on television, and not attending in person).
The Olympic equestrian events have been getting some additional attention, due to the fact the Mrs. Mitt Romney has a horse that is competing in those events. Hearing all the publicity about "dressage" brought back memories of when my husband and I attended the dressage competition at the Atlanta Olympics. In the dark, wee hours of the morning of our scheduled equestrian event, we were sleepily making the drive in our truck from our motel an hour outside of Atlanta, to where we were to catch the motor coach to the location of the dressage venue. Shortly before we got to the motor coach staging area, we turned on the radio, to get the latest weather news. What we heard shocked us! It was the authorities urging all listeners to STAY AWAY from downtown Atlanta, due to a bombing that had occurred at an Olympic concert event very late on the previous evening. Since we were, by that time, already at the staging area, we proceeded to find our designated ride to the rural setting where the dressage was scheduled to be held. Needless to say, none of the motor coaches were running on time, because INTENSE security measures had been implemented following the bombing. When we finally got to the actual equestrian park, we arrived about one hour AFTER the scheduled starting time. However, because the newly-implemented and rigorous security measures had slowed down EVERYTHING that was associated with the Olympics (including the transportation for the athletes and horses), we had not missed anything, because it had not even started yet! This photo shows one of the official Olympic Equestrian Posters, that we had framed to also include our two tickets to the event.
Lest you think we were some kind of elitists because we were going to the dressage competition, let me clarify, that we definitely WERE NOT. I had no idea what it was, or how to pronounce it, whenever we received those tickets. The official Olympic ticketing office had substituted dressage tickets, because the tickets I actually requested (gymnastics) were all sold out. You can imagine the red-neck impression I left on a fellow passenger on the motor coach when I asked if there was a problem with getting ticks while attending. I had seen people standing in weeds, in the woods, watching the steeplechase competitors, and thought there would be a similar setting for viewing the dressage. Little did I know that we would be watching from bleachers, with nothing louder than a whisper being murmured by the audience, as we watched the athletes---dressed in tuxedos---perform precise movements with their horses. What an education I received!
The camaraderie seen in the London Olympic Opening Ceremonies set my mind to thinking about the whole reason for the Olympics. It is to bring people---the world---together for a common cause. That reminded me of the title of the Bible study book for this fall's session of First Place 4 Health (www.FirstPlace4Health.com) The book is called "Better Together", and one of the weekly memory verses (from I Thessalonians 5:11) sums it up when it says "Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." If you could use a little encouraging and building up, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information, on how you could be a part of the class that will start on Wednesday, August 29, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Likewise, you can phone 870-425-6961 to find out more information about the Mountain Home classes. However, no matter what part of the country you live in, there are First Place 4 Health classes throughout the United States. Being a part of a First Place 4 Health class will bring you miles of (healthier!) smiles! Tricia