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Editorial: Now it's time for Olympic athletes - Let the games begin

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Editorial: Now it's time for Olympic athletes - Let the games begin
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The Olympics of London 2012 started Friday night with the Opening Ceremonies in royal and rock fashion.

In the trickery of stage craft, England's Queen Elizabeth II parachuted into the stadium with the British iconic spy 007. The rock music of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who was not too bad either.


Now the focus turns to the people of the Olympics who really matter -- the athletes.

The United States is expected to win the lion's share of the Olympic medals, but it really is the athlete's competition that counts, often called the Olympic spirit.

The Olympics -- both summer and winter -- have often resulted in moments from the ecstasy of victory to the agony of defeat.

Nearly 40 years ago September, it was the tragedy of terrorism that took the lives of Israeli athletes killed in Munich. The world should remember those fallen athletes.

Olympics and politics are not to be intertwined, but they are. Already the politics of Olympics have found their way into the limelight.

• Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney fed the British press by saying it was "hard to know just how well" the London Olympics would go.

• The U.S. Olympic Committee called on all American politicians to cease using the Olympic imagery in attack ads.

• North Korea's women's soccer team refused to play for an hour when the stadium scoreboard inadvertently showed the South Korean flag as the team was introduced.

The opening ceremonies have successfully concluded. Now it's time for the athlete's performances and competition.

The Olympics for the next two weeks come at a good time for west central Minnesota and the rest of the nation. We can focus on something other than recent tragedies -- like the Colorado movie theater slayings or the death of a former Willmar student in a stolen jet at a Utah airport.

We can all come together and cheer for the Minnesota and other Americans competing. The goals of athletes are to win a medal. The goal of the world is to watch, enjoy and get along in the Olympic spirit.