PHOTOS: Games that will never make it to the Olympics

Every two years, the world waits in anticipation for the Olympic Games. It is the height of athleticism, competition, and pride in one's country. For athletes who compete in the games, this event can be the realization of dreams or the disappointment of a lifetime.

All of this fanfare, built around games.

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    Lopez Lomong: September 11, the day I became an American

    In the first installment of the Lopez Lomong series, we shared Lopez's terrifying experience of being ripped away from his parents by rebel soldiers at the age of 6.

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      Lopez Lomong's childhood story of terror

      Today's post is the first in a series that recounts the life story of Lopez Lomong, who will run with Team USA in the London 2012 Olympics, with dreams of bringing home a gold medal.

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        The fatherless epidemic

        Today's post comes from World Vision blogger Matthew Paul Turner, who traveled to Bolivia on our blogger trip last August to experience the work of World Vision and the impact of child sponsorship. Here, he shares one of his encounters from that trip -- and how it changed his perspective on the idea of fatherhood.

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          Images of fatherhood

          One father in Burundi struggles to feed his child, but lays down his pride and begs his neighbors for help to feed his son. Another in Mexico leaves his gang and opens a tattoo studio to teach his son and friends about the importance of a non-violent lifestyle. Yet another father in Cambodia starts a new chapter by giving up his alcohol addiction in order to be a better dad and husband.

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            Here he comes, the violinist!

            Looking at the photo of 5-year-old Abner and his violin, you might think, “How cute!”

            But don’t let his gap-toothed smile fool you. Abner is what you might call a child prodigy.

            Before he could read or write, Abner could play the violin. He picked it up when he was 3, and from that day on, practicing for an hour a day wasn’t a chore -- it was a joy.

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              Shining example: The shoeshine stand that delivers clean water

              Leon McLaughlin’s story might make a script for a feel-good kids’ movie.

              The plot goes like this: A humble shoeshine man operates from a stand in an important city building. As he shines the shoes of top city officials and business people, he shares his passion for bringing clean water to children around the world.

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                A child's open letter: "I was lost, but now am found"

                Bukra Sala, a 14-year-old girl living in an area of poverty in Albania, shares her young life's story -- one of struggles, pain, and loss that turned to hope and renewed purpose with World Vision's help.

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                Dear friend,

                My name is Bukra, which, in my language, Albanian, means “beautiful.” I am 14 years old. I live in a poverty-stricken suburb of Albania’s capital city, Tirana.

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                  PHOTO BLOG: Fashion beyond the red carpet

                  Oscar buzz often has less to do with film awards than with the pageantry of the event -- especially what the stars wear on the red carpet.

                  In honor of the Academy Awards this past weekend, World Vision celebrates our stars -- children -- and their cultural pageantry and expressive styles of dress.

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                    PHOTO BLOG: Over the river and through the woods

                    I have worked with World Vision for nearly three years -- yet I am still amazed by the things I see and the stories I hear. I am equally inspired by the drive and determination of people living in poverty to overcome their circumstances and build a better world for their children, their communities, our country, and the world.

                    Recently, I experienced firsthand the struggles children in remote communities face just to get to school, and I wanted to share this experience with you.

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