Toes clenching the balance beam.  Fingers stretching for the wall.  Necks reaching, leading bodies across the finish line.  Emotions captured in young eyes.  Tears of relief and tears of disappointment.  I love the Olympics!  The dedication and discipline.  The highs and lows.  And most of all the stories.  I love the stories!  The athletes become people.  The people have names.  The names have faces.  And the faces have a story!

Gabby Douglas and Michael Phelps have become more than athletes to many people.  Their stories have been broadcasted around the world and they are known for more than just their accomplishments.  Bob Costas is called a sportscaster, but I think he’s a wonderful storyteller.  Great achievements catch the attention of journalists and TV personnel.  With their skill they captivate our hearts by sharing stories.   But these stories started before the gold medal was placed around their neck.  Their stories started before the Olympic trials and their stories will continue long after the TV endorsements end.  But in our generation, we have connected to Gabby and Michael and are proud to know their stories.   

There are many wonderful stories out there.  But some stories will never be broadcasted for television.   Little Philip, living in China, may never win a gold medal in diving for his country, but his determination rivals that of an Olympian as he defies the doctors that said he’d never walk.  Helen and Hulagerish may not be well-known like their countryman, Bekele, who will hopefully win a medal for Ethiopia this year, but their faces shine a charming story.  We hope that one day they will be educated and able to read for themselves of their country’s hero, Bekele.  These stories are yet to be written.  Many unfinished paragraphs and chapters.  We invite you to be a part of these stories! Because these little people have faces.  And their little faces have a story.  And we love stories!  Because They Matter!

Dr. Terry Waggoner visited Helen and Hulagerish in Ethiopia.