Sadly I am going to miss the first three days of the 2012 summer Olympic games in London.
It's all for good reason, however. I will be in Naches, watching some local athletes attempting to earn medals of their own at the 2012 Mid-Valley Swim League Championships.
I love the summer Olympics. I enjoy watching the athletes representing the U.S. pour themselves into the sports they love.
Never having been terribly athletic myself, I admire the stamina and confidence the Olympians exude. I love seeing all their hard work pay off in those great moments we watch on the "telly," as the British refer to it.
My favorite sports to watch include swimming and gymnastics. Diving is fun to watch, as well.
I enjoy seeing the athletes perform with grace and sportsmanship.
The speeds in which the swimmers cross the Olympic-sized swimming pool keep my attention because I know there are a lot of youngsters in the Yakima Valley who aspire to achieve speeds that are somewhat comparable.
As amazing as those Olympic athletes are, however, it's the local athletes who most inspire me. Some have natural athletic ability and achieve great things via their determination and commitment. Others are just doing their best, trying to be part of the team. It is seeing the camaraderie between teammates and competitors that warms my heart.
Many of the youngsters I see know they aren't athletically gifted, but the friendships they develop are the reward.
Watching the interactions between the more talented and the less talented, seeing the acceptance, that makes me feel good inside.
Yes, I will miss three days of Olympic swimming on the telly, but take my word for it, there will be numerous youngsters from this little corner of the world who will be providing me a sense of excitement and exhilaration July 27-29 at this year's championship swim meet in Naches.
I encourage members of the community to take time out of their hectic schedules to come cheer on these youngsters, who represent the Yakima Valley's future.