GROUND ZERO PLUS 1075
DAYS--New York, NY, Friday, August 20, 2004--The
Athens Olympics continues to prove that the Beast of Terror
is always beatable if you stand up to his fangs and claws.
Like any bully who roars and snorts after knocking you down,
he cowers when you get up and defy his Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. He just can’t figure out why you don’t
Athens Olympics proves the Beast of Terror is beatable
That’s what happened the other night in Athens when
the world's best ranked male gymnast landed heavy off the valult
and fell into the judge’s laps during the men's Gold Medal
all-around individual competition.
It was like driving a Formula One into a brick wall during
the Grand Prix. A pall cast over the announcer's voice as he
moaned that America's Great Gymnastic Hope probably was out
of Gold Medal competition, and, would be lucky if he made it
in the top three.
Bookmakers who had piles of bets favoring the gymnast suddenly
started to count their money after Hamm's score of 9.137 should
have finished him. Side bets gave big odds he would not have
a snowball’s chance in Hell to garner the Gold, and lucky
to eek out a Bronze.
Beast of Olympic Terror attacked Paul Hamm
But Paul Hamm, 22, looked the Beast of Olympic Terror in the
face after his disastrous fall. He could have succumbed as many
athletes do to the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency because
to many the Gold Medal he worked so hard to achieve was now
out of sight.
But Hamm saw things differently.
He called upon the Sentinels of Olympic Vigilance. His mission
wasn't singularly to win the Gold Medal, but to do his absolute
best as an athlete. He wasn't going to be beaten by the Beast.
He knew it was about what was inside him--about his Character
Part of the Character of Competition involves setting examples
for future generations. A gymnast or any competitor at the highest
level who faces Fear and crumbles signals to all the Children
aspiring to compete that winning is everything, and when the
chance of winning is thwarted, just gives up.
But a competitor who faces disaster and then recovers and competes
as though nothing had happened develops in the aspiring child
the ideal that competition of the self is more important than
the winning of the Gold.
Ultimately, it comes down to the Conviction a competitor has
to do his or her best, regardless of whether the payoff from
the outside world is there or not.
Hamm chose to compete for the Children’s Children’s
Children. His true Olympic nature defied the Beast of Olympic
Terror and told him to show the world that despite the falls,
the mistakes, the errors…and, the hissing of the Beast
of Olympic Terror who can, if allowed, make a competitor feel
like a “loser” when the Gold Medal slips away...that
one's Olympic Vigilance can overpower all assaults of Terrorism
Hamm chose to link hands with the Sentinels of Vigilance and
called upon his Courage to overpower his Fear, and his Conviction.
He displaced any grains of Intimidation his fall might have
caused, and, he asked for the ability to do the Right Action
for future generations by competing at his best even if it meant
he might not win the Gold or even medal.
Hamm took the Vow of Olympic Vigilance
History rewarded his Vigilance.
Competing for the sake of doing his best, Hamm excelled in
the next set of exercises. He posted a 9.837 on the parallel
He was flawless in the final one. He again posted a 9.837
on the high bars.
At the same time, his competitors, seeking the Gold, made
mistakes. Hamm’s superb athletics rose to the top.
By just a few thousands of a point - .012, he achieved a magical
chapter in Olympic history—he won the Gold Medal.
But did he do it alone?
Perhaps Hamm didn’t win it by himself. Perhaps the Sentinels
of Vigilance helped him win it. Perhaps all the Sentinels formed
a great ring around him and kept the Beast of Terror at bay.
This doesn’t discount Hamm’s individual effort,
it enhances it. There comes a time in anyone’s life when
he or she must call upon forces and sources outside themselves
to help in times to trial and tribulation.
For years, Hamm had worked hard, practiced, taken his Vows
of Athletic Vigilance and fought off the Beast of Terror’s
attacks that tried to limit his sights and make him think the
impossible was impossible rather than the impossible probable.
In those moments following his fall into the laps of the judges,
there is little doubt Hamm saw the Beast of Olympic Terror hissing
in his face. The Beast of Terror jumps on people's deficits
and does his best to defile human character and pure achievement.
But the Beast was in a for a surprise. His taunting of Hamm
was a signal to the Sentinels of Vigilance to rise up. They
charged forward, surrounded Hamm, and from there on, Hamm’s
skill as a champion never faltered.
The lesson from this experience is worthy of note. Do we keep
fighting for what is right even when we make mistakes--when
we falter, when we fall our faces--or do we pick ourselves up
and dust off the errors and go forward with more resolve, more
The same might be said of America's top woman gymnast, 16-year-old
Carly beat the world ranked favorite, Svetlana Khorkina of
Russia, by two-tenths of a point to become the first American
woman to win the overall competition since Mary Lou Retton did
two decades ago and win the individual Gold Medal.
Carly started out eighth after the first of four exercises.
She battled her way to the top. Unlike Svetlana Khorkina, who
is consider the queen of gymnastics, Carly didn't brag about
winning the Gold or state as Svetlana did that the "Gold
belonged to her." Carly's final score was 38.387 over Svetlana's
Carly competed much as Paul Hamm did--with the Sentinels of
Vigilance coaching her, reminding her that she was role model
for children who needed to learn to fight the Beast of Terror's
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
Patterson took the Vow of Olympic Vigilance
There is something "selfish" about barking to the
world you are "owed a Gold Medal." Perhaps the Beast
of Terror gets a little too confident and the Sentinels of Olympic
Vigilance need to put the Beast in his place...second place...third
In sharing with our children about the Olympics...the key is
to remind them that those who won the Gold Medal didn't win
it because they sought it alone. Svetlana sought it alone and
The Gold Medallists were Sentinels of Vigilance, working with
many others--coaches, trainers, friends--to overcome the countless
obstacles the Beast of Olympic Terror tosses here there along
Telling a child how Paul and Carly overcame their Fear, Intimidation
and Complacency is a a much more important story than about
them winning the Gold Medal.
These competitors took the Vow of Olympic Vigilance.
They were competing for the future generations.
You can too. Take the Pledge of Vigilance today.
Be a Sentinel of Olympic Vigilance.
To August 18 Story: "Terrorists En Route To Wall Street
Charged With Conspiracy To Cause Fear, Panic And Disruption"
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