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Monday, April 07, 2014

Americans Who Brought Home the Gold

Americans won nine gold medals at the Winter Olympics in February in Sochi, Russia, and their achievements are inspiring. The first gold medalist at the winter Olympics – and the first gold medal ever won by an American in Russia -- was by Sage Kotsenburg in the men’s snowboard slopestyle event. Only 20 years old, Sage was homeschooled through his high school years, completing an online Christian curriculum. He brought home the gold medal with a uniquely ambitious snowboarding style. Triumphing over competitors who were favored to win the event, Sage raised the American flag high in celebration of his victory.

Another American who won a gold medal in snowboarding was also homeschooled. Jamie Anderson won the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition. She had previously won several world championships in the same event. David Wise is an American who won the gold medal in a freestyle skiing event. Along with his wife, he leads a youth group at his church, and aspires to become a pastor. He and his wife have a two-year-old daughter, and he attends church regularly. But NBC reported on Wise’s triumph at the Olympics by describing him as leading an “alternative lifestyle” because he has a family and goes to church. It is a lifestyle, a very beneficial one, but there is nothing “alternative” about it. Many of the other medal-winners for the United States also have inspiring stories. Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest ever to win the gold medal in the women’s slalom event in skiing. She is only 18 years old. Meanwhile, in the men’s giant slalom, Ted Ligety won his second gold medal with spectacular skiing under enormous pressure.

Every four years the Olympics remind us of what ordinary Americans can achieve competing against the best in the world. We thank these Americans for bringing home the gold.

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