Her hand slapped the edge of the pool. Then her head emerged from the aqua blue water, and she turned around to look at the results; her mouth became an uppercase O as she pulled her goggles up in case she was seeing it wrong. But she wasn't!
Seventeen-year-old Lydia Jacoby became the first gold-medal swimmer from Alaska, and the first swimmer to receive gold at the Tokyo Olympics. She beat out defending gold-medalist Lilly King and other favorites in the 100-meter breaststroke. Her fans in her hometown erupted with joy and celebration, a favored scene replayed many times.
We all celebrated with her in spirit.
This story was just one amazing rose in a bouquet of many exciting and inspiring moments this Olympics.
Stories of athletes overcoming severe sickness, devastating injuries, poverty, and mental health challenges.
Competing athletes celebrating each other's successes.
Families and friends cheering for their loved ones from afar.
Athletes after a successful competition with smiles stretched wide across their faces, breathlessly thanking their family, friends, and coaches for their support and guidance.
Astounding record-breaking performances.
Athletes acknowledging and thanking God who gave them their abilities.
Athletes receiving a podium spot and medal for their countless hours of work with words and expressions honoring the country that gave them the opportunity to pursue their passion.
And there were life lessons in watching those that fell short. They took it with grace and cheered on other athletes.
Some days we win. Some days we fall short.
Watching the Olympics brought to mind the exhortation Paul wrote during house arrest to Philippian believers: "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." (Philippians 4:8)
Yes, there is much evil and destruction swirling around us. And the Bible makes it clear we need to understand the enemy and his schemes and be engaged in the spiritual battle we are in. But part of that involves reflecting on the goodness of God and the goodness we see around us. It inspires us to be our best.
Thank you, God, for the glimpses of your glory and goodness we see sprinkled around us.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.