Olympics prove it’s small, small world
Watching the Olympics the other night, something interesting struck me. This is a small, small world.
I was watching the women’s 100 meters or 200 meters or some track event, and the runners were being introduced, and like all Olympic races, they came from all over. And it hit me.
In 1976, I watched the Montreal Olympics on ABC and took in every telecast. Huge, huge fan. That Olympiad included two females from another hemisphere who competed at Montreal, and who now I know personally. Without so much as leaving the county.
Nadia Comaneci, you know about. I don’t claim to know Nadia well, but since her 1996 marriage to Bart Conner, I’ve gotten to know her a little. Bart, of course, is one of the all-time great people, a man of unsurpassed charm. If you know him, he makes you think you know him well. And Nadia is usually along for the ride. They make their home in Norman, and you can run into her at the dry cleaner or the grocery store.
I know Ukpe Mbong even better. Ukpe was a Nigerian sprinter who made the Olympic finals in the 200-meter dash. She placed seventh at Montreal. In 1982, she and her husband came to the U.S. for school, and they stayed and raised a family. I taught two of their four kids in Sunday School at Lakeside Church of God in Norman, and we still attend church together. I saw her Sunday.
The world is a small place, with big adventures. The Olympics prove that like no other event.
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