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Friday, August 10, 2012

AMERICAN WOMEN OLYMPIC SUCCESS IN LONDON

Not only is 16 year old Gabby Douglas the American darling of the Olympics, but might be the wittiest.  Facing an international panel of journalists, she was asked about the significance of being the first African American to win the all around gold medal.  A phrase is painted throughout the Olympics venue:  Inspire a Generation.  In reference to that slogan, she remarked that she could now check that off her bucket list.

Seventeen year old Claressa Shields, to be a high school senior, was the only boxing medalist for the USA, beating someone twice her age, Russia's Nadezda Torlopova, gaining a gold.  Coming from depressed Flint, Michigan, with a father who was in jail through her 2-9 youth, at one point in her life she had nowhere to go, so the family of her coach, Jason Crutchfield, took her in.

Clarissa Chun, from Honolulu, at 4' 11", the same height as Gabby, is the only woman (Jordan Burroughs today won a gold medal) to win a medal for the USA in wrestling.  She prevailed over Irini Merlini, the 2004 Gold medalist, who in 2008 pinned Chun in Beijing.  Redemption and a bronze medal.  Clarissa is 30 years old.

While there are a few more American women in London than men, they have earned almost three-fourths of the gold medals for the USA.  Credit should be given to former Hawaii Congresswoman Patsy Mink, who wrote the original draft of Title IX in 1970, changing the nature of women and athletics.

My Stanford Class of '62 is having our 50th reunion this October.  STANFORD MAGAZINE included the following tidbit in the recent July/August issue:

Pat Takahashi got a head start on the 50th reunion. He, Jim Seger and John Laing enjoyed a 50th year reunion four years ago to just about the day when they appeared as freshmen. "We tried to enter Arroyo where we lived on the third floor, but they now have a security system to prevent people like us from entering. We could not find even one restaurant in Palo Alto remotely close to what we remembered. My eating club, El Capitan, is no more. However, the campus is fabulous and the school so much more respected today that we can only be thankful for our prescience and general wisdom for having gone there."

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1 comment:

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