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01/06/2014 07:34PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

Here we are! January/February 2014! I don’t know about all of you, but I for one did not think 2013 would ever end. I am looking forward to this new year with renewed vision, purpose and energy. And I am most excited about the 2014 Winter Olympics Games in Russia! Do you realize this will be our – the United States of America’s - first time participating in Russia for this thrilling event? In 1980, the last time Russia was host to the games, the USA boycotted the event due to the Soviets’ invasion of Afghanistan.

But I don’t want to focus on the past, the fates that turn tides, the mistakes, the victories outside the games. I just want to enjoy the games! I can’t wait to see all that Sochi, Russia has to offer the world beginning February 7th and continuing through the 23rd. Preparation reports tell us no expense has been spared with costs reaching upwards of $50 BILLION, including even sending the Olympic Torch up into space to the International Space Station via rocket where cosmonauts can tout the first-ever torch spacewalk – unlit, of course! This same torch will light the flames of the Olympic circle and officially start the games. Imagine being one of the torch bearers for these games!

Many who have followed On The Coast over the years know I am a Michigan native. As such, I feel it is my responsibility to share with you, my dear readers, the greatest game ever . . . HOCKEY! Yes, hockey. No one can talk about hockey and the Olympics without smiles! Russia and the USA, as with many things, like space exploration, have a very long history and rivalry in Olympic sports, particularly . . . HOCKEY. And we had never won . . . until . . . the 1980 Lake Placid, NY game, Russia vs USA. “Miracle on Ice” is one of the most memorable, greatest sporting moments of all time. (Spoiler alert . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .) Our boys did the unthinkable and we beat the dominant Soviet Union team! (I highly recommend renting the 2004 DVD “Miracle” in January to generate excitement and shed some history on this amazing historical feat!)

In our last issue we featured Regina Jaquess ------. She is our very own On The Coast World Champion water skier who recently brought home yet another prestigious title for the USA. From a very young age she dreamed big and sacrificed much in order to successfully accomplish those goals. Another young lady who dared to dream big is Brianna Decker, who claimed in the fifth grade that she would someday play in the Olympics for the US Women’s Hockey team. She will be in Sochi, Russia, in a couple weeks fighting for her country, playing and fulfilling her dreams!

I love the Olympics. I love that we can set aside our differences and come together as a nation to cheer on our top athletes. I love the back stories of the determination, sacrifice, resilience and commitment of our Olympians. I love the competition that dates back centuries, the history we can teach our children. Like this new year, let’s embrace it; we can all enjoy the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, together, as a nation! Happy New Year, dear readers. Blessings!

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