EDITORIAL: Olympics a chance to unite, root for Hali

York Dispatch
  • Spring Grove High School graduate Hali Flickinger will swim for Olympic gold in Rio.
  • She is set to compete in 200-meter butterfly qualifying action on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
  • The final for the 200-meter butterfly is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 10.

In a few short days, most of America will be gripped with Olympic fever.

The 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro are nearly set to begin.

Spring Grove High School graduate Hali Flickinger, right, hugs Cammile Adams after finishing second to Adams in the 200-meter butterfly at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. Flickinger finished seventh in the event at Rio.

Here in York County, Olympic fever will reach its peak on Tuesday, Aug. 9, when Spring Grove High School graduate Hali Flickinger will hit the pool in Rio for qualifying action in the 200-meter butterfly.

If all goes well, Flickinger will advance to the final on Wednesday, Aug. 10, with a chance to win a medal, maybe even gold.

The entire county will undoubtedly be cheering as one for the 22-year-old woman from Papertown.

Meanwhile, the entire nation will be united in rooting for the American athletes to excel.

The idea of a united county and country sounds awfully refreshing right now, especially given the vitriol we've endured for the last couple of weeks.

Unless you've been living as a hermit in a mountain cave, you know all about the bitter partisan debate we've been subject to during the race for the White House.

You watched the cable news channels or surfed the social media sites at your own risk. You could find more decorum at your average a bar-room brawl.

Simple human decency seemingly took a bit of a holiday.

Maybe, just maybe, we can use the next couple of weeks as a reminder of what unites us, rather than what divides us.

As Democrats and Republicans root side by side for Flickinger and her U.S. teammates in Rio, we also  should take the time to remember the most important things that we all have in common.

We all love our children and worry about their futures.

Normalcy returning for Flickinger after Olympic Trials

We all want to be happy and healthy.

We all want to see our country thrive.

That applies to folks of all political persuasions.

Yes, we have political differences. That is not going to change.

In fact, it's all-together healthy to debate those differences. It's why America is great.

But please, let's try to do it in a more civil way.

The folks who are voting for “other” candidate aren't evil or stupid or deranged.

They're your neighbors, your co-workers, maybe even your friends.

Maybe cheering together as one for our nation's Olympic athletes will help us focus on the values we share, rather than the issues that can tear us apart.

We can only hope.

In the meantime, there's just one other thing to say:

“Go Hali!”