Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


What an honor and priviledge to help support our Special Olympics TeamAlaska during the 2007 World Summer Olympics in China!

It was a long and exhausting trip to Shanghai, China: 17 hours 16 minutes in flying “sardine cans” called airplanes, five hours navigating airports and standing in lines, plus 2 hours 30 minutes going to and from airports (likely the most hazardous part of the trip). When we arrived in China, it was still yesterday in Anchorage. But complain I do not. Observing our Alaska contingent of the Special Olympic Team USA perform at the 2007 World Special Olympics was both inspiring and an honor. 7,200 athletes from 165 nations competed, including TeamUSA and TeamAlaska. The games were a major media event, with more than 1,400 media outlets from 120 nations dispatching their reporters to Shanghai. All of this occurred during China’s “National Day” holiday in which more than 4.6 million visited Shanghai (we were somewhere among them).

Special Olympics provide people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to compete on an equal level and to display their talents and abilities, no matter what their race, age, or limits of their own bodies. Eighty thousand enthusiastic folks packed the humongous Shanghai Stadium to view the Opening Ceremony (and when the ceremony concluded, all 80,000 left at the same time - which didn’t help in capturing a taxi).

Our TeamAlaska contingent of TeamUSA made our nation and state proud.

Alaska power lifter Bobby Hill earned four second place medals in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai. Hill resides in Eagle River. Hill’s best results for each event include: bench press-92.5 kg, dead lift-140.00 kg, and squat lift-142.5 kg. For pound equivalent, multiply by 2.2.Swimmer Jeremy Hartman, Wasilla, earned a gold medal in the 4x25 meter freestyle relay. Fellow Alaskan Melanie Flowers won two third place medals in swimming. Alaska

Swimmer Melanie Flowers from the MatSu won two third places, and a fourth.
Whitney Davis, a Special Olympics runner from Juneau, captured a second place, and two fourth places.

At the Shanghai Natatorium, where the swimming competitions took place, I got to present the Alaska Special Olympic pin to Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and shake his hand - my second presidential handshake )the first presidential was George W. Bush in 2003 at the White House).

Fifteen Alaskans attended Special Olympics World Summer Games Opening Ceremonies to support our Alaska contingent of TeamUSA, including Special Olympics Chairman Craig Gales (VP Alaska Waste Management); Chairman-Elect Ken Privratsky (Senior Vice-President Horizon Lines, and Major General US Army Retired) and his wife Kathy, a long-time volunteer working in the Healthy Athletes program; Chief Executive Officer Jim Balamaci, Vice-President Nicolle Egan, Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan and his wife Terri (Monegan was in China in support of law enforcement official Terry Vrabec, a runner in the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run), Speaker of the House John Harris; and myself.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, who could pass for an up-and-coming young American politician, left little doubt that he was thoroughly behind the concept of the dignity of disabled people. He not only attended the games and spoke to the crowd, but also got “in-among-them” with the athletes and gave all appearances of being sincere in his support of the disabled. I found that very very encouraging, given Communist China’s long time record of - shall we say - “opposite” human rights behavior. Hopefully, it wasn’t for all for show. Hopefully, China is moving toward a broad range better human rights behavior.

The Closing Ceremony, was as extravagant as the Opening Ceremony. Some 5800 performed at each ceremony. I’ve never seen firework pyrotechnics anywhere to match what I saw in China – but then China invented fireworks!

Congratulations to all the Special Olympians over the world, and especially to Special Olympics Team Alaska!
Note: The top photo is a view from the Puxi side of Shanghai, across the river to Pudong and the Pearl Tower, the next photo shows me admiring power lifter athlete Jeremy Hill's medals, below that is a a photo of some of our Alaska supporters and athelete Jeremy Hartman at the Pudong Natorium site of the swimming competitons, and the lower photo is a view of the massive Shanghai Stadium.


Blogger Randy Shiner said...

Why did Governor Palin reject $275,000 in funding for the Alaska Special Olympics? I have started a Facebook group to raise those funds for those kids and coaches.

6:30 PM  

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