Friday, August 15, 2008 – 9:30 a.m. CT

It is truly a beautiful day in Chicago. We’re working on nearly two weeks of temperatures in the upper 70s, or lower 80s. We’ve had ONE 90-degree day all summer, which is extremely rare. Only one time since the 1880s has Chicago not had a 90-degree day. It was in the 50s when most of us woke up this morning.

Tyndale employees are still enjoying watching the Olympics, and also anticipating the Tyndale Olympics, which begin next week. I’ll have more about this event next week.

Swimming and gymnastics took top billing in Beijing last night. I am glad that we are on Central time or these events would be well past most of our bed times. I had great interest in USA swimmer Ryan Lochte last evening. My sisters, who are twins, and I were competitive swimmers and Ryan’s mom and dad coached my sisters in upstate New York. My sister, Lori, went on to be a really good swimmer at Johns Hopkins University. I last saw Ryan in 1992 at the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. Ryan would have been about eight-years-old and his parents were coaching a swimmer, Kim Small, who was participating in the Trials. Kim, who swam both the 400- and 800-meter freestyle events, finished third in both events, with legend Janet Evans winning both. Only the top two swimmers made the Olympic team. I can’t imagine working that hard only to finish one spot from making the Olympic team…twice. I’m sure that Kim just falling short of making the team in 1992 fueled Ryan’s competitive fire for years to come.

What I do remember most about Ryan when he was really little was that he was an absolute wild man. He’d get kicked out of practice, would try to flood the locker room at Monroe Community College by filling the drains with paper towels and turning on the showers, and liked to press the buttons of his mom and dad. I also remember that he was just an incredibly gifted athlete. He was one of those little kids that you’d see and say to yourself, “Wow, it’s going to be fun to see how good he is when he grows up.” Well, I found out last night as Ryan is an Olympic champion and world record holder in the 200-meter backstroke. He also earned a third place finish in the 200-meter individual medley, missing the silver by .01 of a second. Michael Phelps won the event, which was less than :30 minutes after Lochte finished the backstroke. I don’t know if he could have won, but I would have loved to have seen Lochte and Phelps race the 200 IM with Ryan fully rested. I think it would have been much more interesting.

On another note, Ohio State is well into football practice with Tyndale author Jim Tressel leading his charges. OSU is ranked among the top five teams in the country in every poll. Linked below is an article, “Faith and Sports”, about OSU and the importance of faith in the program.