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Letters: Olympics are a pursuit of truth

The United States' Michael Phelps kisses his gold

The United States' Michael Phelps kisses his gold medal for the men's 4 x 100-meter medley relay final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Credit: AP / Lee Jin-man

The opening line of Michael Dobie’s column “More to games than Lochte lie” [Opinion, Aug. 21] hit the nail on the head. He wrote: “You can find whatever you want at the Olympics.”

The games showcase the greatest achievers in worldwide sport, but can also reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. They more than transcend any one embarrassing moment, such as Ryan Lochte’s capers and subsequent lies. Why give those lies top billing?

The Olympics are humanity’s pursuit of truth in a physical form. When dopers cheat, or athletes disregard fellow participants or a host nation, they corrode the luminosity of the gold-medal ideal.

These are the stories that should be recognized: the joyous victories of gymnast Simone Biles and swimmer Michael Phelps; the comebacks of triathlete Gwen Jorgensen and swimmer Anthony Ervin; the pride of runner Matt Centrowitz’s father; the sportsmanship of fallen runners Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin; the humility of marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge; the brotherhood of sprinters Usain Bolt and Andre DeGrasse. They demonstrate the essence of truth at the Olympics.

Martin J. Brown, Malverne

Editor’s note: The writer is girls’ cross-country and track and field coach at Kellenberg Memorial High School.


Donald Trump has complained that America doesn’t win anymore, and that he can make America great again. Then came the Olympics.

Mr. Trump, you owe our American athletes a huge apology. Not only did America win often, but it did so because of monumental team efforts. They included family support and sacrifice, community and school investment in sports programs and facilities, corporate and business sponsorships, and the commitment of coaches and staff.

No one person is responsible for America’s greatness. We can take inspiration from our young athletes.

Lillian Patton, Long Beach