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After the Olympics

“I always loved running … it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
– Jesse Owens, four-time Olympic gold medalist, 1936

Time and time again, the sprints and endurance tests of the 2012 London Olympics reminded us of the power and excitement inherent in such a wide variety of sports. (Just check out these racing moments on Runner’s World for some fun examples.) But as numerous athletes mentioned in their post-race interviews, success often begins with one great coach or class or neighborhood game. So today, we’ve highlighted a few Catalogue nonprofits who are working (and running) to ensure that local kids have the chance to jump into sports and stay active:

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An Olympic Effort

In this past Friday’s Washington Post, A Wider Circle founder Mark Bergel writes:

Like competitions of the past, the London Olympics are not only the result of hard work on the part of the athletes but also of remarkable community support and financial investments. I can only imagine that if the District, instead of London, had been selected 10 years ago as the site of the 2012 Games, our city would have made a similar commitment [...]

So here’s my question: If we were prepared as a community to mobilize the region’s resources and fund the premier athletic event in the world, why can’t we make the same commitment to house our homeless neighbors, feed hungry families and clothe young and old in our community?

He points out that, for example, London constructed 40,000 apartments and will serve 14 million meals over 60 days this summer. Certainly, similar resources could provide for “thousands and thousands of children and adults” in need across the region year-round (London’s population is twelve times that of DC).

What do you think? What would be necessary to catalyze an effort of this size, scope, and importance?

Learn more about A Wider Circle here.