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olympicswinnershug.jpgAh, finally, day 4, and the Olympics have finally officially started for me.
Nope, the run-up and the hype didn’t do it. Every sports event this side of the World Poker Championships has a big build-up.
No, the opening festivities–while, um, festive–didn’t do it. There are pageants all over the world.
Yes, the USA’s dramatic comeback over the French in the 4 x 100 meter relay final almost did it, but overconfident proclamations and underdog comebacks happen in all kinds of sports.
But the real Olympics kicked off last night when victorious representatives of two countries at war embraced in a hug and gently kissed each other on the cheek. It physically took place on the medal stand in Beijing, but it really took place on the screens of millions of the world’s residents who long for peace and are inspired by the human bonds that overshadow it. If only they could pre-empt it.
CNN reports that “sharpshooters from Russia and Georgia embraced Sunday after earning medals for their countries, which have been teetering on the brink of war since the Beijing Summer Olympics kicked off last week.”


“Russia’s Natalia Paderina and Georgia’s Nino Salukvadze hugged after winning Olympic silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the women’s 10-meter air pistol competition,” it went on to say. “The rivals kissed each other on the cheek after standing on the medal podium with China’s Guo Wenjun, who won the gold medal in the event. Waving flower bouquets high, the women smiled broadly at the audience.”
That is the kind of Olympic moment that makes the Olympics the Olympics. Here’s hoping it starts a ripple effect that answers the prayers and hopes of the world–that two countries can find a way to stay out of the next war that doesn’t need to start.

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