It will be a week ago tomorrow that Steve and I attended the Boy Scouts of America’s recognition dinner for the Long Beach Area Council’s Sea Scouts, sponsored by Long Beach Honda’s general manager, Fred Angiuli. I figured it would be a nice event to attend and wanted to lend our support to such an amazing group of young men and women. Thinking it would be a good experience for the middle-school boys who live next door to us, we took them along to watch some older kids receive accolades for excellence in leadership and teamwork.
Expecting a nice, quiet evening of awards and short speeches, I was completely overwhelmed when I looked at the program at my place setting that listed Jeffrey Powers, American silver-medal Olympian, as the evening’s speaker. My eyes bugged out of my head when I looked across my table and realized that he was sitting right in front of me. Over the years, I have met politicians and television and movie stars, as well as some amazing musicians and entertainers; last Saturday night they all paled in comparison when I had dinner with an actual Olympic silver medalist.
During Jeffrey’s extemporaneous speech, he explained that he was indeed an Olympian who had participated as a water-polo player in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Games. His silver medal was won in 2008. Here are a few of the words of wisdom that he shared with us that night:
“When you go to college, stay involved, it keeps you grounded and keeps you anchored.”
“I sacrificed nothing. It was something I wanted to do– I worked [swam] eight to 10 hours a day.”
Now that he is a coach, Jeffrey said that defining team goals, encouraging socializing and recognizing good work are very important.
“Lead by example.”
“You’ve got to love it … build trust with teamwork, communicate, show commitment and be adaptive.”
After his speech, Jeffrey posed for pictures, often putting his ribboned medal around the necks of those standing with him. I too had my picture taken with him. It was a thrilling experience.
To share details about the Winter Olympic Games that start today in Pyeongchang, South Korea, we have created a centerfold pull-out section to guide our readers through the events that will be happening today to Feb. 25. We hope you find it educational and helpful.