On your marks...!

London is ready for the opening of the Summer Olympics on July 27—the first city to have hosted three Games.

I’ve been privileged to participate as a broadcaster in four Summer Olympics and to work alongside several British gold medalists, including sprinter Harold Abrahams, of Chariots of Fire fame (Paris, 1924), long-jumpers Mary Rand and Lynn Davies (Tokyo, 1964), and decathlete Daley Thompson (Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984). It saddened them that they didn’t get to win in London, but they spoke only with exhilaration of the joys of participation. They told me that as deeply committed Olympians, they were able to set aside discomforting evidence of financial greed, political power struggles, and even terrorist threats, and focus on the Games as a celebration of athletic endeavor by the youth of the world.

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