As our beloved Vikings start their season vs. the San Diego Chargers with a game at Qualcomm Stadium, I’m harkening back to our recent evening there. It was Opening Ceremonies for the State Games of America, and it was majestic.
Representing the great state of Minnesota
In Olympic Games style, the athletes marched in by state, with the hosts (Cali) last. Who wouldn’t have a proud, teary moment as their kid and her team proudly marched in, holding the sky-blue-waters blue MN flag?
More lump-in-your-throat moments as the Navy Seals parachuted onto the field. This just before the horrible helicopter accident in Afghanistan that killed 22 Seals, giving the entire experience a much larger meaning.
We also enjoyed great music (a few of the band members are apparently on Glee) and a hilarious Michal Jackson act.
As the sun set, Keynote Speaker Peter Vidmar, 1984 men’s gymnastics Gold Medalist. He had a great message for the kids, including: “Athletes, who drives you to the rink, the field, the arena, the gym and the court?
They love you, but I have news for you. They. Have. Other. Things. To. Do.”
It made me laugh, nod with empathy, yet beam with pride.
I LOVE being a parent.
He message concluded by him sharing the video of his improbable gold-medal victory, and together, we all cheered on the beauty of hard work, determination, dedication, a bit of luck and SPIRIT!
Let the Games begin!
The torch finished its trip throughout the stadium and a neat 10-year-old athlete lit the States Games cauldron, where the bright warmth symbolized the spark to start the majestic sports to come.
Incredible evening — and now I hope our Vikings can offer up a few more good memories of Qualcomm action!