Some 36 years ago, our family first became hooked on the Olympics. Surprisingly, it wasn't an American athlete that began our enthrallment with the games, but a 14-year-old gymnast from Romania named Nadia Comaneci.
It was the 1976 Olympics in Montreal where Nadia scored the first perfect score in Olympics history - a 10 on the uneven parallel bars. She had seven more 10s during the games and we have been ardent Olympics watchers ever since.
The most impressive aspect of the Olympics is that it reinforces what can be accomplished through dedication and hard work. It is safe to say no athlete has ever been born with enough God-given talent to win a gold medal.
No, every medal won at the Olympics is the result of years of commitment and thousands of hours of practice. It is stunning to look at what a little girl living behind the Iron Curtain (Nadia) accomplished as barely a teenager.
This year's version of Nadia's story is the USA's Gabby Douglas, the 16-year-old winner of the all-around best gymnast. Her parents are separated, her father is stationed in Afghanistan and the family is far from well to do. But Gabby persevered and perhaps her well-deserved victory Thursday will improve the family's fortunes.
Today, we ardently follow Michael Phelps, Gabby, Missy Franklin, Aly Raisman and Ryan Lochte as they take London by storm. These young athletes are an inspiration to all of us.
Certainly watching all the athletes from around the world gives us hope for the future. With all those young bright people working so hard for their families, friends and countries, better days must surely be ahead.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.