Magnificent Things Are All around Us

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By Karen Henry

As this issue of The O&P EDGE hits mailboxes, the United States will be deciding who will become the nation's next president. Regardless of who is elected to lead the country through the next four years, it's clear that the next president will take office at a time when the U.S. economy is in turmoil. I'm somewhat of a news junkie, so I'm on a pretty consistent diet of blow-by-blow analysis of what caused the breakdown, how current events are affecting the day-to-day, and what the future might hold. You'd think I'd be amazed at the ability of the financial and economic pundits to keep the momentum going for all these months. But what has truly amazed me amidst the ever-changing headlines of the 24-hour news cycle aren't the headlines that make it above the fold. What has amazed me the most are the stories you have to dig a little deeper for. In light of this crisis, which has impacted not only the U.S. but also world markets, magnificent things continue to occur in our world.

Almost two months ago, Beijing played host to the 2008 Paralympic Games. According to CCTV, the English-language 24-hour news channel of China Central Television, "spectator passion for the Paralympics is as high as it was for the Olympics." Attendance rates for almost half of the sessions were at 90 percent, the Olympic common area received more than one million visitors, and a total of 1.25 million tickets were sold to the public. Patrick Ryan, chairman and CEO, Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee, said that in his estimation the opening ceremony for the Paralympics was even more spectacular than the opening ceremony for the Olympics. "It was beautiful," Ryan said. "It was inspirational, and it really showed how far the Paralympic movement has come in a short amount of time." And as you'll find in our Paralympic coverage, the stories of the Games are no longer primarily about triumph in the face of adversity but about the drive, sportsmanship, and achievements of seasoned athletes, and the fellowship of nations that can be found only at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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