Two Dozen Basic Management Principles — Pt. 17

Chapter 15 President Bush   “Where’s Lopez? I want to meet Lopez.” Lopez heard his name but could not believe the speaker was looking for him. For eight years he had dreamed of running for the United States in the Olympic Games, but this went beyond anything he could ever have imagined. The President of the United States was now looking for him. “Over here, sir,” one of the coaches said. President Bush smiled and headed over toward Lopez. He had just delivered a speech to the entire U.S. delegation. The entire delegation consists of every athlete and coach for every sport in the Olympic games. In his speech, the President tapped into his old cheerleader self: “Get out there and kick some butt!” After his speech, he went around the room shaking hands. So many famous athletes Lopez admired were there: Duke’s “Coach K,” Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade of the Dream Team. Michael Phelps, who went on to win eight gold medals was also there. Yet out of all these incredible and famous athletes, the president wanted to see Lopez! A nobody, a lost boy! For eight years he had dreamed of running in the Olympics but never dreamed this. “Mr. President, I would like to introduce you to our flag bearer, Lopez Lomong,” the head of the U.S. Olympic Team said. The flag bearer leads the team into the stadium. It is one of the highest honors any Olympic athlete can receive. Unlike medals that are won in competition, the flag bearer is elected by his teammates. Out of the 596 athletes representing the United States in these games, only one can lead the team into the stadium carrying the flag, and the one that the athletes chose was Lopez. The vote was not even close. President Bush shook his hand. “Lopez, I’ve heard a lot about you. I just wanted to let you know how excited and happy I am to have you here. Welcome to America. When you go out there and carry that flag tonight, enjoy the moment. It is your flag.” “Thank you, sir,” Lopez said. He could not believe he was shaking...

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