Goodbye Olympics......Hello Team Mary Martin!

Michael Phleps, Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin........any of those names sound familier? Oh I am sure you hear their name on the tv every single time you turn it on! Well what about Loretta Claiborne, Tahmina Kohstani, Oscar Pistorius, and Sarah Robles? Any of those names ring a bell? If you have watched the Olympics as much as I have then you should know who Oscar Pistorius is, he is slowly becoming known as "The People's Champion." The South African made history by becoming the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. He didn't win gold, sliver, or bronze, in fact I believe he came in last in one of the races, but He won over millions of hearts. He showed that he is no different than anyone else. He did not let his disability disable him, he made it an ability to able him! If you know nothing about him I strongly urge you to google his name and read all about him. He is amazing! 

Now what about Loretta Claiborne........sound familiar? Probaly not, and that's ok, the news usually reports on the "popular" athletes, and that's ok because that is usually what us the people want to hear about. Loretta did not talk or walk until the age of 4. Despite doctors' advise, Loretta's mother refused to put her child, who is also partially blind, in an institution. She has competed in six Special Olympic World Games. She has 6 Gold medals, 3 silver, and 1 bronze from the world games. In 1981, she was the first Special Olympic athlete to run in the Boston Marathon finishing with a time of 3:09. She holds medals in track, bowling and skating, and has competed in a total of 26 marathons!!! That would be 26 more marathons than I have done!! She also holds a BLACK belt in karate and  speaks five languages. Pretty Impressive!!

Next we have Tahmina Kohstani....... She was the Afghan sprinter that set the slowest time in the 100m race. Why on earth you ask would anyone care to know who she was. Well let me explain. First she was Afghanistan's only female representative in London.  She apologized to her supporters, because there was no hope of her getting near a medal given the lack of training facilities in her home country. When she would try and train there was abuse. The men watching her train in Kabul would harass
 her, tell her to go home, "to get behind the man." and there was even a taxi driver that kicked her out of his cab when he found out that she was training for the Olympics. Despite all of that, her experience in London seems to have only strenghted her determination. In a country where women are thought of as "nothing" this woman is trying to do something. There is great danger I'm sure with going against a country like Afghan, but she is standing up for what she believes in! I will pray for this woman every single day and hope everyone else will join in!

Last Sarah Robles. Even though she's the number one weightlifter in the country, Sarah Robles' road to London has never been a sure thing. Up until recently she has been living off $400 a month, her stipend from U.S.A. Weightlifting. Like many athletes her intense training schedule leaves little time for a paying job. Unlike other female sports stars Robles is 5'10.5 inches in height and 275 pounds. That makes it very hard for her to secure any major endorsement deals because she isn't an obvious choice for a national, televised ad campaign. To me that is really sad. One a good day she can lift more than 568 pounds! That is a TON of weight!!She gets discounted groceries for her 3,000-4,000 calorie a day diet from food banks and donations from her coach, family, and friends.She didn't win a medal, but she also is a winner for not giving up. She found something that she "fit in" with and trusted the Lord to provide. She made do with what she had and was happy about it.

Micheal Phelps make millions upon millions from endorsement deals. He is 27 years old, possibly retired, (he says yes, but others say no!) and he will never have to worry about money. Gabby Douglas is going to get millions just from Kellogg's alone! Ryan Lochte could possible be the next "Bachelor" on the reality show, and has plenty of endorsement deals himself. Now Missy Franklin has decided rather than star on a cereal box she wants to complete college. She wants to maintain her amateur status. Winning a gold medal can be priceless, but cashing in on the glory could or could not turn into happiness. Missy is going to enjoy her senior year, and go on to college! I am by no means saying that any of these "high profile" athletes do not have golden hearts. There are things that have come easier for them as they reached the road to London. The one's that walk away with no medals still believe in themselves and will continue to train hard despite tough circumstances.

All in all whether you are have won 22 gold medals or 0, you have 46 chromosomes or 47, as long as you work hard, and put your trust and faith in God ANYTHING is possible! When life seems hard and you are just not sure how you can possibly keep on going just stop and think about what the bible says. Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." It's ok to let God carry you, I do it almost every single day. Some people can walk next to him, some just need to lean, but I will admit that I have to be carried sometimes, but I always trust in God and what he has planned for me. The "under dog" athletes have been such an inspiration to me. They give others hope, and prove that you can do anything that you put your mind to! Now that the Olympics are over and you don't have any "teams" to cheer for join Team Mary Martin! While she might never win a gold medal she has won over the hearts of everyone. Sunday, October 21, 2012 we are going to "Step up for Down Syndrome" at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Join our team or simply make a donation to honor our sweet baby girl. Go to to sign up! It will be a fun filled day worth way more than a golden medal! Helping others can be priceless! Keep those prayers coming!! God is good!!!!