Winter Olympics in Review

044By Ginger Solomon

If I’m anything, I’m practical. Most of my posts here will show that in one way or another. This post is no different.

The Olympics ended last week. For two weeks they dominated the news and were the thing to talk about.

Did you see the US Hockey team beat Russia?

What about when Ted Legity became the first US male to ever win gold in the giant slalom? 

Okay, let’s try the US women’s bobsled team of Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams who won silver. Did you know that Lauryn Williams is only the fifth Olympian to medal in both the summer and winter Olympics? Her other medal is in track.

One more. Did you watch Meryl Davis and Charlie White win the first-ever gold in Ice Dancing?

In four years will we remember any of these events? The people? The heartaches or the joys? Will we even remember them next month?

We might not, but I’m sure every single participant will either bask in the glory of the win, or wonder what he/she could have done differently. Some may even be working on a plan for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

Christina started the month off with a look back at the very beginnings of the games. But how much of what has happened between that time and now can we name?

Do you know what year the Summer and Winter Olympics became separate events? The last year they were held together was 1992.

What memorable events happened in 1980 — there were several? First, the US hockey team beat the Soviet Union, who dominated the amateur division of the sport. They went on to win the gold. Also in 1980, Eric Heiden won FIVE gold medals in speed skating.

This one you might remember. In 1988, Jamaica sent a bobsled team to the Olympics. They didn’t medal because they crashed, but the team inspired the movie “Cool Runnings.” By the way, there was also a Jamaican bobsled team this year for the first time in twelve years.

I didn’t watch many of the Olympic events this year. It seemed too many other things required my time. I caught glimpses of snowboarding and ice-skating, and the tear-filled interview with Bode Miller. I’m sure there were many thrilling moments, and probably more heart-breaking stories. The participants will not likely forget them. Just getting to the Olympics is a big deal and I applaud them for their dedication and perseverance. 

So I leave you with this thought: These Olympic hopefuls gave it their all, plus some, to achieve the goal they had set for themselves. What goal — writing or otherwise — have you set for yourself? Are you striving for it or are you waiting for the reward to just fall in your lap?


Lee Carver


Today we welcome Lee Carver, former missionary and writer, to 3 Questions Wednesday.

(1) What is your favorite book? [Bible excluded]

Lee: Let me say that my favorite type of book is one in which the main character rises above powerful circumstances. Think of a character who rises from poverty and crises through hard work and education to become successful. But one of the most moving, brilliantly written recent novels is Kellie Coates Gilbert’s Mother of Pearl. Thank heaven I never had her challenges.

(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?

Lee:  I’ve had a remarkable life and wouldn’t want to trade with anyone. And while historical books are great reading, I’d never choose to go back to outhouses and corsets. I always wanted to be a doctor, so make me one of Dr. Richard Mabry’s strong heroines. Yeah, that would be so fine.

(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Lee: I have lived in seven countries and traveled to over forty, so this isn’t a snap question. How about the Amalfi coast of Italy in a car without a tour guide? And I’d like to take a European river cruise after brushing up on my French and German.

Thank you, Lee, for joining us on 3 Questions Wednesday! Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Flying for Jesus in a free Kindle download.

Lee Carver and her husband served as volunteer missionaries for six years while he was a bush pilot in the Brazilian Amazon. She ran their home as a free missionary guesthouse. A free PDF download of her book, Flying for Jesus, is available from her web sites.Front Cover 1

Lee lived in seven countries and studied nine languages during her husband’s career as an international bank executive. She taught biology and chemistry, and now serves as a Stephen Minister, mentor to a challenged elementary student, sings in the choir, and crochets for the Prayer Shawl Ministry. She is a member of ACFW and president of its DFW Ready Writers Chapter.

Lee Carver

Winners Galore!

marthaThe Writing Prompts Blog not only enjoys sharing writing prompts and tips with all of our friends, but we love giving away books and gift cards! Today’s winner of Martha Roger’s book, Love Finds Faith, is…

Bonnie Engstrom!

Congratulations Bonnie! Make sure and join us this Wednesday as we welcome Lee Carver.

Friday is also your last day to comment on any of our January and February posts [the Monday and Friday ones] to be entered for a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner could be you. So don’t forget to drop by!

See you there…winner2

Freeski Halfpipe and the Undude

By Betty Thomason Owens

The medal ceremonies are the highlight of the Olympics. Especially for the gold medal winners. To make it to the Olympics at all is a major achievement. To medal crowns that experience. I love to watch the ceremonies, no matter who the winner is, but it is especially fun when my favorite champion is front and center. This was the case as I watched the freestyle half-pipe skier, Dave Wise receive his gold medal. Not only did he win the gold, he won the very first gold ever in a brand new winter olympic sport.

And what an exciting sport to watch! You may have seen previews of the X-game sport  when you watched previous winter olympics, but this is the first year in competition for them.

I must confess, my interest in Dave Wise stemmed from something that has alienated him. His “uncoolness.” The “undude” debunks the norm. He’s married, he’s a daddy, he’s openly religious, he loves to read, which immediately endears him to me. But he will never star in a beer commercial. You get the idea. The big money won’t back him. He may not be considered “bankable.” And that is a problem. But it won’t stop him. Because there’s someone bigger backing him than any of the alcohol conglomerates or any other company, for that matter. David Wise

He’s low-key, against the grain–“peculiar” if you will–isn’t that what we’re supposed to be in this world? Here’s a chance to get to know him, just in case you’ve missed the interviews: 

And in case you haven’t seen the freestyle skiing (called freeski halfpipe for short), it’s like skateboarding on skis. My sons were “into” skateboarding, so I’m familiar with some of the terms, though I may use them improperly. It is truly one of the more exciting events to watch at the winter olympics. However, I would never want anyone related to me involved in this sport. I could never watch. There’s a lot of empty air between them and earth.

Honestly, I would love the thrill of the open air these guys experience, whether on skis or skateboard. But I’m content to watch the video. Really. I can watch, I can read the stories and the interviews and the only danger is that I’ll fall asleep in front of my computer or television screen. I’m not going to break a bone unless I’m snoozing so hard, I slide out of my chair and hit the floor.

If you missed the freeski halfpipe competition, I’d recommend you find the video on youtube and watch it. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was by Dave’s performance, especially under less than perfect weather conditions. And that’s really what these competitions are all about––excelling at your chosen sport even in bad circumstances. That’s when the preparation and the hard work really pays off.

Curling: An Olympic Sport?


By Jennifer Hallmark

When I think of the Winter Olympics, I envision skiing, bobsledding and figure skating. I love watching speed skating, snowboarding, and even watch luge while holding my breath. Lately, I’ve even flipped the television to curling. Curling? Huh?

Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four rings. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called “rocks”, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. A great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve. This gives curling its nickname of “Chess On Ice.”

Curling originated in Scotland in the 16th century and was introduced to the inaugural Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix. At this moment, the Canadian men’s team is ranked number one in the world with the USA ranked eighth. Sweden tops the ranking in women’s curling and USA is ranked seventh. So if you enjoy chess on ice, don’t miss curling during the Sochi Olympics and after. Go USA!

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