Michelle Obama's Olympic 'Gimme' Speech
No, Wolf, it wasn't Laura Bush.
The correct answer is Michelle Obama, whose speech Friday bombed and should go down as one of the worst, most selfish and ineffective entreaties of all times. Whoever wrote the speech should be fired. America should be embarrassed that our First Lady would deliver it.
I was born and raised on Chicago's South Side, not far from where the Games would open and close. Ours was a neighborhood of working families -- families with modest homes and strong values....
But today, I can dream, and I am dreaming of an Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago that will light up lives in neighborhoods all across America
and all across the world; that will expose all our neighborhoods to new sports and new role models; that will show every child that regardless of wealth, or
gender, or race, or physical ability, there is a sport and a place for them, too.
- Chicago's diverse neighborhoods are populated with citizens from nearly every country in the world
- The diverse ethnic populations have (mostly) peacefully coexisted and prospered for nearly two centuries now under American principles of self-government "of the people, by the people, for the people" (and I quote Republican President Lincoln, the most famous Illinois son), which is something the world could gain from Chicago vis-a-vis, say, Beijing.
- The City rebuilt itself after a devastating fire and has since become an international showcase for architectural wonders.
- Its universities have created new studies and intellectual disciplines that are discussed and respected in academic circles around the world.
- Its commodity exchanges are the envy of the world and bright, shiny demonstrations of the effectiveness of capitalism.
Chicago's vision for the Olympic and Paralympic Movement is about so much more than what we can offer the Games -- it's about what the Games can offer all of us. It's about inspiring this generation, and building a lasting legacy for the next.
You see, in my dad's early thirties, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. And as he got sicker, it became harder for him to walk, let alone play his favorite sports. But my dad was determined that sports continue to be a vital lifeline -- not just to the rest of the world, but to me and my brother. And even as we watched my dad struggle to hold himself up on crutches, he never stopped playing with us. And he refused to let us take our abilities for granted. He believed that his little girl should be taught no less than his son.
So he taught me how to throw a ball and a mean right hook better than any boy in my neighborhood. But more importantly, my dad taught us the fundamental rules of the game, rules that continue to guide our lives today: to engage with honor, with dignity, and fair play. My dad was my hero. And when I think of what these Games can mean to people all over the world, I think about people like my dad. People who face seemingly insurmountable challenges, but never let go. They work a little harder, but they never give up.