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Off the Field – Let the ‘Olympic’ games begin

By Keeli Parkey

USA! USA! USA!

No doubt this chant will ring loud and clear in the coming weeks as athletes representing the United States of America take on the world in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The opening ceremony of the games is slated for Friday, Aug. 5, and after so much has been made about whether or not Rio is ready to host, I am anxious to see how one of the most significant sports-related events goes.

Having said that, I do hope if Rio is not prepared and the venues for the games prove to be less than adequate, that the athletes and their accomplishments are not overshadowed by the negative news. These competitors have worked most of their lives to make it to the Olympics and they deserve to have their dedication and hard work recognized.

The Olympics brings with it a barrage of sports coverage and something for everyone. I am most looking forward to watching our women’s football (by which I mean soccer) team in action. The ladies are scheduled to face New Zealand on Wednesday, Aug. 3, in their first match of group play. Unfortunately, the men’s team failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. I also plan to tune in and cheer on the men’s and women’s basketball teams in the coming weeks.

As with every Olympics, I am sure we will witness accomplishments that will be remembered for years to come. For example, I will never forget sitting in a hotel room in Myrtle Beach, S.C., watching Kerri Strug stick the landing on her final vault with an injured ankle to propel the U.S. women’s gymnastics team to gold.

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Congratulations go to Blue Devil baseball player Shaddon Peavyhouse.

According to a post on social media, Peavyhouse has verbally committed to join Coastal Carolina – the 2016 College World Series champions – following graduation next year from UCHS.

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Blue Devils and Lady Devils are hard at work preparing for their fall sports seasons.

The football, volleyball, golf, cross country and girls’ soccer teams will be kicking off the 2016 seasons later this month. The Erwin Record will feature our annual fall sports preview, including stories and photos of each team, in an upcoming issue.

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To offer an idea for a sports article, email me at [email protected] You can also follow me on Twitter: @keeliparkey.