Tunney Side of Sports; “Coming up next … A Good Reminder” #250, October 12, 2009

After Further Review … “’Cause I’m the hall monitor,” said 9-year old Lin Hao, the Chinese schoolboy who marched in the Opening Ceremonies of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing, with China’s Flag Bearer, 7”6’ Yao Ming. Yao Ming, of course, you know as the Houston Rockets NBA star, who played in the Olympic Games for his native country China.

Lin Hao, perhaps, is a name you don’t know – yet. When an earthquake hit Chengdu’s Sichuan Province, China, killing 70,000+ people, Lin Hao was among those buried beneath the rubble, yet survived. Lin Hao had pulled a classmate out of the rubble, then ran back in to rescue another, when he was caught in the tumbling walls. Alive when the rescuers got to him, Lin Hao was asked “Why did you go back into that building that was crumbling?” Here was 9-year old Lin Hao’s response: “’CAUSE I’M THE HALL MONITOR!” You may call it responsibility, or leadership or determination. Whatever you call it, please put “HERO” next to Lin Hao’s name! Extraordinary!

There is no question that the spectacular opening of the 29th Olympic Games was the finest I have ever witnessed. The precision and splendor of that opening was exceeded only by the people who directed and performed in it. It was easy to be convinced that the light show, the drumming sequence and especially the ‘cube’ happening was controlled solely by electronics. I was delightfully surprised when it was not, as the performers beneath those cubes popped their heads up at the conclusion. Extraordinary!

Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening ceremonies, said “We (meaning every ‘cube’ performer) worked for 4 months – 8 hours a day – and we never got it perfect – until that opening night performance.” Personal responsibility and a “never-give-up” attitude, coupled with TEAMWORK, gave the world China’s extraordinary best.

Critics knocked the Chinese performers as “sterile” and lacking passion (they missed the fact that there are 1.3 billion Chinese!). I disagree. When you witness perfection, it may appear “sterile” and “passionless,” but what often is missed is the extraordinary effort given to achieve perfection. Extraordinary performances are given by ordinary people giving extra effort to perform the extraordinary!

Will you practice responsibility when it comes your way?

Jim Tunney


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