The Purpose Built Portfolio
While the 2012 Olympic Games are contested in London, viewers will be regaled with poignant portraits of triumph and heroism from previous Olympiads. One of my favorite moments happened during the Barcelona Games in 1992 when Jim Redmond leapt from the stands and dodged a couple of security guards to reach his son, Derek, who collapsed after tearing his hamstring. Jim lifted his son and helped him across the finish line.
Closer to home, track and field enthusiasts enjoyed a similar moment at the Ohio High School State meet. Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty High, was rounding the final corner in the 3,200 meter race as she noticed that one of her competitors collapsed less than 10 yards from the finish line. Vogel stopped and picked up Arden McMath from Arlington High school and helped her reach the finish line. Meghan won the 1,600 meter state title in a previous race but when asked about helping her competitor she replied, “Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship.”
The U.S. economy is like Meghan Vogel. The U.S. is in first place on the global economic podium. As a wealthy, free, and democratic nation, Americans can be proud of what our tenacious pursuit of freedom and our tireless work ethic has built. Even after the recession, we remain a global economic leader, with several of our economic competitors struggling to reach the finish line. What should we do?
If Meghan wasn’t strong enough to finish her race, she wouldn’t have been strong enough to help her fallen competitor. If our political leaders fail to enact prudent measures to address our deficit and debt, we may finish lying on the track instead of leaning through the finish line. On a summer trip to the Caribbean, a local merchant reminded me, “When America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.” America needs to stay strong, because, in my opinion, that is the best way we can support the global economy.
Twenty years after helping his son in Barcelona, Jim Redmond was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch this summer. I hope that America is still the global economic champion when the 2032 games commence.