Tag Archives: Olympics

Sports dreams come true

Sports dreams come true | World Vision Blog

Olympian Se Jim Kim delivers the cup to the best volleyball club of the 2012 tournament between 28 Librazhd school clubs. (©2012 Bardha Prendi/World Vision)

The Winter Olympics opening ceremonies are today! As we look forward to the Sochi games, we bring you the story of Enkelejda in Albania, who competed in volleyball tournaments through World Vision's Librazhd community ... and had the life-changing opportunity to meet an Olympian!

A former sponsored child and decorated athlete turns heads, changes minds, and breaks stereotypes

Juan David, 22, is all smiles as he takes the podium to receive his second gold medal.

Winning isn’t new to Juan, a decorated athlete. He is the proud recipient of four Olympic medals: two gold, one silver, and one bronze.

Sure, he might not be the most decorated athlete of all time. His medal count doesn’t come close to that of Michael Phelps. And his 100-meter time doesn’t match that of Usain Bolt, the current Olympic record-holder from Jamaica.

But life isn’t just about the finish line.

To truly appreciate crossing the finish line, you must understand where the race started -- and what obstacles were faced along the way.

Lopez Lomong: A day in the life of an Olympian

We have shared Lopez Lomong's journey -- from life as a lost boy in Sudan, to finding a new home in America, to his rise as an athlete.

Now, we want to show you what a day looks like for Lopez as he trains for the Olympics. World Vision photographer Jon Warren traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, to spend a day with Lopez before he left to compete in London.

Lopez's preliminary race will be televised today. Check your listings for the men's 5,000-meter run, and cheer Lopez on.

Lopez Lomong: "The fourth lap, help me God!"

In the third part of the Lopez Lomong series, Lopez shares his thoughts as he races at the 2007 NCAA 1500m championships. As he runs, Lopez reflects on the role that running has played throughout his life. Previously, running meant escaping rebel soldiers and the harsh realities of life within a refugee camp. As a student and athlete at Northern Arizona University, he dreams that running will be the key to a better life for the lost boys and the people of South Sudan.

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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.

While the Olympics represent the upper echelon of games, for many, games are simply a way to pass the time, connect with others, and have fun. The Olympics utilize the best in facilities and technology, but many games for people in developing nations involve found objects and a heavy dose of creativity and ingenuity. These games will never make it to the Olympics -- and that's okay. The joy they bring to their participants is worth more than a gold medal.

Top 5 things you didn't know about the Olympics

In honor of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, our post today comes from Olympic enthusiast and World Vision staff member Kristin McGunnigle, who is currently in London to watch the games.

When Kristin isn't traveling with the World Vision Experience, you can find her watching a wide variety of sporting events and teams -- her favorite being the Olympics. Read on to learn from Kristin five fun Olympic facts you might not know.

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. After his kidnapping, Lopez was taken to a camp where boys were forced to become rebel soldiers, killing other people, or dying themselves.

From there, a series of miracles occurred. Lopez was befriended by three older boys in the camp, who rescued him and fled the camp on foot at night. After running for three days and nights, the boys found themselves at a refugee camp in Kenya.

Lopez lived there for the next 10 years, dreaming of what else life might hold and growing closer to God each day. He prayed that one day he would be able to leave the refugee camp and find a new life. His prayers were answered when a family in the United States near Syracuse, New York, decided to adopt him as their own.

Part 2 of the series picks the story up after Lopez moved to the United States. It was only a short time that Lopez had been here when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. As his new home was under attack, Lopez struggled to reconcile the haunting memories of wars and violence in Sudan with the expectations of new life and safety in America.

Read on to learn how this experience shaped him.

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.

While his current life sounds like a dream come true, his childhood was more like a nightmare. Born in war-torn South Sudan, Lopez was kidnapped by rebel soldiers at the age of 6 with two foreseeable futures: being forced to kill as a child soldier, or being killed himself.

Part one of the series tells the story of this dark chapter of Lomong's life. Follow along as we hear from him on his abduction, being adopted into the United States, and the realization of his Olympic dreams through his new book, "Running For My Life."