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Jake Dalton Gymnastics 5
Kelly Allen Paracanoe 8
Stephen Lambdin Taekwondo 11
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interviews compiled by Steven Potter
Meet Oklahomaâ€™s finest athletes representing Oklahoma and Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
photos by John Cheng
Jake Dalton Gymnastics
How did you get into gymnastics? When I was a little kid, I was playing baseball and was going to baseball camps. One of my coaches told me that I should do gymnastics because it would help my pitching arm, so I ended up joining gymnastics and competing in both for a few years. Then I stopped playing baseball and stuck with gymnastics. What do you gymnastics?
The fact that there’s always something you can learn. You have 6 different events and hundreds of skills for each event. It is kind of a never-ending
learning experience. Every time I go to the gym, I learn something new or try to do better - a better skill or better routine. There’s always something new. That’s what attracted me to the sport ‘cause I get bored with things pretty easy. What’s your favorite event of the six? Floor exercise is my favorite to train, but I like to compete in vault. You first competed in the Olympics in 2012. Can you describe your first Olympic experience? I just remember I was way more nervous
than I’d been for any competition right before we were about to walk out. And I was just feeling very stressed, very anxious. And I looked over and there’s a sign from a past Olympic game in the 1900s. The billboard said something to the effect of, “The Olympic games are not about conquering and winning but about taking part and fighting until the end.” And that kind of allowed me to calm down and relax a little bit. It made me feel a lot better right before we walked out to compete. That is something that I’ll always remember. It’s not always about the success or winning everything. It’s about taking part and achieving those dreams that you’ve had since you’re a little kid.
Being from the US, we are very proud to be full of heart. We like to compete with a lot of pride in our country and our teammates. We’re more of a family than just a team. What is it like coming back to compete again in Rio? It’s a dream come true when you first make the Olympic team. It’s eyeopening the whole time you’re there because you’ve never been there and you’ve never done it before. You’re soaking up the whole experience, having fun, and really enjoying it. And the second time around is pretty similar. You don’t get this opportunity too many times. So to be able to do it again, I’m just looking forward to competing and using my experience from the first time the second time around. I really just want to enjoy this one. You don’t get to do this very often, so I’m just going to enjoy competing, enjoy the village, and soak up the experience again. When did you first dream of being an Olympic athlete? When I was a little kid, I was watching the movie American Anthem. It was probably one of the only gymnastics movies out there. And that’s kind of when the Olympic idea started coming around, and I started thinking about the Olympics and wanting to go. I was about 8 years old when I saw that. But it started to become a little more of a reality when I made my first senior national team and world championship team. That was in 2009. I was 17 years old. It was always a dream, but it started to be a reality when I made those world teams. What does training Olympics look like?
There are a lot of sacrifices that are made. We train six days a week. Four of those days we’re doing two trainings a day. Usually about an hour of strength in the morning and then we’ll do the gymnastics part in the afternoon and finish with more strength or cardio. It’s pretty much a full-time job. When you’re not training, you’re at home doing recovery or rehab after practice. And you have to focus on nutrition and sleep, so it’s 24 hours.
What brought you to Oklahoma? I’m originally from Nevada. I took my college search out here and loved the University of Oklahoma. I wanted to go somewhere I could continue my Olympic dream. Oklahoma had a great program and a lot of great support. Everything fit together with the team that was there and the program. Even though I’ve graduated now, I still live in Norman and continue to train at OU.
Any battle scars along the way? I’ve been fairly lucky. I had surgery on my knee when I was 14. I tore my patellar tendon. And then in 2013, I broke my thumb and got surgery on that. And then last year, I had surgery on my left shoulder. I’ve had a few surgeries but nothing crazy. I know some guys that have had 8-10 surgeries, so three’s not too bad. Who inspires you as a gymnast? One of my old coaches - Rustam Sharipov. He competed for the Soviet Union back in the day and won gold at the Olympics. He not only was an amazing gymnast, but he’s a great person and a great coach. He’s definitely someone I look up to.
Was there ever a time when you wanted to give up?
What do you like to do when you’re not in the gym?
There’s definitely been those days. But the most significant was when I first got to college. Training in high school is very different from college. It was a big eye-opener with the strict schedules and 6 a.m. workouts. It was a lot more than I expected. When I first got to college, I struggled a little bit. It was a lot harder. And you kind of have to go through a process where you fail. You can barely get through routines sometimes, and for me, that was new. You almost feel like you’re getting worse, but in reality once you push through that, you get stronger and better. When I was a freshman it was a hard time, but it ended up being one of the best things for me.
Since we’re training so much, I like to go home and hang out with my wife. We’ve got two dogs. We’ll turn on some Netflix and barbeque or grill. When trainings calm down, I like to go hiking and camping and be outdoors. But when training is intense, I try to recover and rest as much as possible. Hanging out at home is what we probably do most. I like trying new restaurants. It’s hard to eat out too much while we’re training right now. I recently went to Torchy’s Tacos. I’ll probably go there quite a bit once were done.
It just makes it so worth it at the end. When you accomplish that dream that you and your family have had for years and years and years. It’s an honor to be able to represent our country. Are you bringing anything special with you to Rio for good luck? I just became friends with a retired vet from the Air Force. He brought his son to watch us train. I went over and talked to him for a little bit. He ended up giving me an American flag that he had over in Iraq during his tour there. He carried it the whole time he was there. And he passed it along to me to bring to Rio. I’ve always been a big supporter of our military and appreciative of what they do, so I thought that was really, really cool of him. What is team USA’s biggest strength? Being from the US, we are very proud to be full of heart. We like to compete with a lot of pride in our country and our teammates. We’re more of a family than just a team. We like to say that we never give up, and we always fight ‘til the end. What is team USA’s biggest weakness? We’re known for going for pretty difficult gymnastics and that’s what we’ve been trying to do lately. We want to clean up our execution. We’re kind of known for big skill, so if we can just clean those skills up, we’re definitely one of the best teams in the world. What’s something outside of gymnastics that you do? I started a small motivational clothing brand for gymnasts. It’s called Meso Clothing. It was named after Mesopmorhic, which is an athletic body build. It came around because there’s not a lot of options for the younger guys who are in gymnastics. I wanted to create something that some of the younger guys could hold onto. Hopefully keep them sticking around in our sport and give them something to be motivated by and look up to. What does it mean to be an Olympian? It means everything in the world. It just means all the sacrifices, not only that I have made but my family, my friends, my teammates have made, are worth it. Everybody all around me who has supported me all these years. My parents took over the gymnastics club I trained at when I was 9 years old. They literally dropped their lives to do everything they could to help me in my career. It just makes it so worth it at the end. When you accomplish that dream that you and your family have had for years and years and years. It’s an honor to be able to represent our country.
photos courtesy of Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen Paracanoe
You have Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency; can you explain what that is? I was born in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I was one of very few disabled children, so the doctors decided to send my parents to the Mayo Clinic when I was three days old. That is when I was properly diagnosed. I was born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD). PFFD has a very wide range, but the type I have is most severe. I’m missing the most bones that you can. PFFD indicates a shortening of the femur. However, my femur is microscopic. I also don’t have a patella, fibula, and my hipbone on the left side isn’t fully developed. There’s no ball and socket. The only way that my leg is attached to my body is through muscle and skin. 8
When did you get your first prosthetic? I got my very first leg when I was three months old. It’s called a crawling leg. Basically they would put it on me so I would get used to wearing it. I hit most of the major milestones with my peers. I walked around the same time. I crawled and everything. I was just doing it with a prosthetic. How did you get into sports? I was the youngest of four and my parents are extremely supportive. Anything that we wanted to do as children, they did whatever they could in their power to make it happen. All my siblings growing up were extremely active. I grew up watching my brothers and sisters go to soccer practice and
baseball and tennis. To me, it was natural. That’s what you did as you got older. So my parents did everything they could to make sure that happened. There were a couple instances when there were definitely challenges. I remember playing soccer as a kid and being told that I had to get off the field because I had metal on my leg and was a danger to the other kids. So my parents got together with the people that made my leg and they made adaptations. So that when I would go to soccer practice, I had little pads that I would Velcro onto my leg so no metal was showing. That way I could still go out and be with my friends on the field.
Just because it’s the Paralympics that doesn’t mean I’m not a real athlete. We’re athletes that have disabilities, but first and foremost, we’re athletes. What has been most influential in your life as an athlete? When I was 14, I was introduced to the Extremity Games. They are basically the X Games for people with limb deficiencies or amputations. My prosthetist had a flyer for it up in her office. I came in for an adjustment and she encouraged me to sign up for it. That was actually the first time I had ever in my life participated in sports with other people with disabilities. Living in the upper peninsula of Michigan and being one of the only disabled children, I was basically forced to play all able-bodied sports. That was a really defining moment in my life – probably the most. It was just such an amazing experience to go from being a total minority in my normal life to the majority. It was really cool that everyone was staring at my sister with two legs instead of me with one. That was such a defining moment in my life, and that’s really what kicked off my spiral into this world of adaptive sports. In addition to kayaking, you’re also a world-class skier. How did you get into skiing? Growing up in Michigan, winter is a big thing. Skiing was a part of our life. My older siblings were on our high school ski team. In elementary school, I remember going to their ski meets and just really loved it. When I was in elementary school, I took up skiing. We tried skiing with my prosthetic but because I have no connection the ski just took control of my body. Then we learned about three track skiing, where I ski on one leg and wear outriggers. They’re basically like forearm crutches with a ski on the bottom. I switched to snowboarding in middle school because I could wear my leg, and it was easier to get around the chairlift. But when I was in high school, I remember thinking I wanted to be on the ski team like my older siblings. So freshman year, I switched back to skiing. I was on the team for four years. When did you first dream of going to the Paralympics?
In 2010, I was chosen as 1 of 10 athletes across the U.S. to represent the U.S. as a young ambassador at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver. It was such an amazing experience for me. I remember being at the opening ceremony for those games and just thinking how magical that was. Being there was just so life changing for me. I thought this is what I want to do. This is my goal for the next couple years. I wanna be here. I wanna be one of those athletes sitting down there. I had always thought about it. But when I was chosen as one of those athletes, it was the first time in my life I thought this could be a reality.
How did you get into kayaking? I was training for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia for ski racing. While I was training, I had a couple bad falls on the mountain and ended up tearing my ACL one too many times. The doctor sat me down and explained that I was expected to have a knee replacement by the age of 23. And I had to ask myself, ‘is this really worth it to my body?’ So I decided to retire then, which was really hard. At the time I was having these doubts, I got a Facebook message from Ben Kvanli, who was a ‘96 Olympian in the sport of sprint kayak. He was living in Texas running the Olympic Outdoor Center there. He emailed me and told me that he was putting together a team to bring to the world championships. So I basically moved my life to Texas one day.
Had you ever kayaked before? My first year at the Extremity Games I did rock climbing and took home silver. The next year I tried kayaking. I didn’t do very well and that didn’t sit well with me. I remember telling my dad I wanted to do better next year, so he contacted a kayak instructor for me. For the past 7 or 8 years, I’ve actually taken home the gold medal for kayak at the Extremity Games. And that’s how they knew to recruit me.
What has your training looked like for Rio? I train twice a day every day. I have Sundays off. We do a two-hour training session on the water in the mornings and then a two-hour in the evenings. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll be down at the Devon Boathouse in the weight room and we’ll have an extensive gym session. After that, I’ll go to sports medicine and get all healed up just to start the routine over again.
What do you wish people knew about Paralympic athletes?
How has it been training in Oklahoma for the Paralympics?
I just never want to be seen as a charity case. Like right now, I moved down to Oklahoma and am training at the Devon Boathouse and they host some of the top athletes in this country for kayaking. I think it’s important for people to understand that I’m training with those athletes. I’m out there on the water every day with them. I do the same gym workouts. I do everything they do. I may have to adapt what I’m doing to achieve the same goal, but I’m still doing it. I think that’s something not a lot of people realize. Just because it’s the Paralympics, that doesn’t mean I’m not a real athlete. We’re athletes that have disabilities, but first and foremost, we’re athletes. To me, athletes love challenges. I don’t see a bigger challenge than how to wakeboard without having control of your legs or ski on one leg. To me, it is just adding on to the challenge of sports, which I think all athletes thrive on.
When I told people I was moving to Oklahoma to pursue my kayaking career, the first thing people ask is, ‘Is there water there?’ I do most of my water training down at the Lake Overholser location. I really couldn’t ask for better conditions or a better foundation to be behind me. I’m really lucky and happy to have made this move. I don’t think I would have made it to Rio without my coach here. I’ve been in Oklahoma for over a year now and am starting to put down roots.
Do you ever feel like people have questioned your athletic ability? Growing up, I was the only disabled athlete on the court or on the field. So automatically I would get pity instead of respect. I’ve had coaches take it easy on me. I remember when I was playing basketball my coaches told me I didn’t have to do the laps around the gym. I could just go sit down. But I made it a point to do the laps around the gym. I was going to come in last, but I was going to finish them. And that was really important to me. Having doubters helped me learn what my limitations were by going off of what other people thought they were. I learned a lot about myself and what I could do, which is such an important thing as a disabled person. It is so important to learn your limitations, and that’s what sports do. 10
What are your goals going into Rio? The gold is the ultimate goal, of course. But for me, this is just such an amazing experience. They’re calling it the Road to Rio, and I think that’s a great representation of what this is. It’s been a four-year journey, and I just think being there is going to be such a beautiful event. The whole idea of the Olympics and the Paralympics. The
whole world is united for one event and that’s a beautiful thing. And to be brought together by sport, I think that’s incredible that sport has that power. I’m just so excited to be down there. And of course, I’m going to do the absolute best that I can. I’m going to do everything that I can do to win, but the experience itself is a gold medal to me. What are your goals after the Paralympics? I want to open my own non-profit where it’s just me and a trailer full of adaptive sport equipment. My idea would be to go to rural towns like I grew up in and not only introduce adaptive sports to adaptive athletes but also the general population. I think it is so important to understand the abilities that everyone has. If someone would have come to my town and done that, I just think that would have been so influential in my life. I am hoping I can do that for other kids. I want everyone to realize life does go on, and you can make the best of every situation. Just because you’re missing a limb that doesn’t mean that adventure is over. I think it’s extremely important, especially with kids with disabilities. Find your limitations, and sports is such a fun way to learn them. When I was younger, my parents had the option of putting me in physical therapy or letting me go play soccer. I am forever grateful that they made that choice.
photos courtesy of Stephen Lambdin
Stephen Lambdin Taekwondo How did you get into Taekwondo? When I was a little kid, I really wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. I actually harassed my parents about it for years. At the time, I didn’t know there was a difference between Taekwondo and Karate. So I just kept asking my parents to get me started in Karate. On my 6th birthday, we were eating lunch and I was pestering my mom about it again. She finally got tired of me pestering her about it and took me across the street to a Taekwondo gym. And it was a blessing because we just happened to fall into a world-class gym. They signed me up for a free one-month trial membership. Both of them thought I’d do it for a week, get distracted, and move on. I like to think I pleasantly surprised everyone.
What is your favorite thing about Taekwondo? It is very comparable to life. When you go into the ring, you might have a game plan for somebody but you get immediate feedback if it’s not right. I’ve always felt it’s a great metaphor for life in that you have to be very adaptable and very quick if you want to survive. And that carries over into business experience, relationships, everything. It taught me a great lesson really early. What does training look like for you? Like any sport, where I am now is pretty brutal. But as a kid, it just started with regular Taekwondo. It wasn’t formal. I’d learn forms and
break boards. Slowly as I moved up the competition totem pole, it shifted from sport to competitive. It’s just like any sport where it sounds incredibly hard what I’m doing now, but I’ve built up to it. It’s not like Sunday I do nothing and then Monday, all of a sudden, I’m a world-class athlete. My typical weeks comprise of Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays in the morning I’ll go for a weight room session. Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the evening, I do a kicking specific session. Then Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, I’ll do yoga and go for a jog or sit in the sauna to sweat out a little bit.
What brought you to Oklahoma? I’ve been coming here since I was a kid to train. There’s an Olympic level coach here – Jason Poos. I made visits to Oklahoma to train with Poos’ Taekwondo gym in Edmond. After college, I decided to take my training full-time… I’ve lived here long enough, it’s home. But even when it wasn’t home as a kid, it was home away from home. My favorite part about it is the people. My longtime girlfriend is from here, my friends are from here, my coach is from here. It’s the people here that capture your love and end up making people stay here. How would you explain Taekwondo to the general pubic? Like any sport at an elite level, it’s 99% mental. But for a spectator that’s turning on the T.V. and watching it for the fist time, Taekwondo is a whole lot like boxing except with kicking. They’ll be a set number of rounds. For the Olympics, each fight will be 3 rounds at 2 minutes apiece. And at the end whoever has the most points wins. You
I’ve never been the fastest. I’ve never been the strongest. I’ve never been the smartest. But I’ve been willing to work harder than everybody else and that’s a huge factor in why I am where I am today. can also win by knockouts and injuries, but the primary goal is to win by points.
When did you first dream of going to the Olympics?
Have you ever been injured?
Taekwondo was a demonstration sport in the ‘88 and ‘92 games but not in the ‘96 games. And then in 2000, it became an official Olympic sport. 1996 was about a year after I started, and it’s funny because Taekwondo wasn’t in the Olympics at that time. But up at the gym, Olympic fever is going on and everyone’s talking about it. So I got it in my head during the ’96 games, when I was 6 or 7 that I wanted to go to the Olympics. Like most kids, I had this kind of mythological understanding of it. Not a solid understanding of this is what it’s gonna take to get there. But watching the ‘96 games on T.V. is when I got bit by the bug so to speak.
I ruptured my Achilles twice. Tore my MCL on both knees once. I’ve broken both my hands three times each. Broken my nose four times. I’ve broken more fingers and toes than I can count. Do you have a favorite move in Taekwondo? If you were to click on YouTube or Google me, there’s this one move- the turn hook kick - that I’ve knocked quite a few people out with. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s my favorite, but I’m well known for it.
What does being an Olympian mean to you? It’s obviously a childhood and lifelong dream come true. When I went to the US Taekwondo Championship a couple weeks ago, they brought me out there just to sign autographs, shake hands, and kiss babies. Up until now, my Taekwondo career has been very selfish. And don’t get me wrong; I still want that gold medal for me. But being an Olympian has made it a much richer expedience. It became this interesting experience in that now it’s not quite as much about me. There’s this weird sense of responsibility to go perform not just for myself but for the country. And even though I’ve been on US national teams before, I’ve never been to an event of this magnitude so there’s a real feeling of gravity and responsibility. I feel responsible to inspire the next generation of little kids like I was inspired. To be on the opposite side of where I was when I was 6 – watching the TV and thinking one day I could do that. The gift of being able to do that for the next generation is probably my favorite thing and really what the Olympics is all about.
I feel responsible to inspire the next generation of little kids like I was inspired. Who do you look up to in the field of Taekwondo? Tim Thackrey. He was a flyweight national team member for about 10 years. He’s a hyper-intelligent guy. He’s got like three degrees. He took me under his wing and tried to teach me how to see the match from different perspectives. Like many of the other lessons that I’ve taken from Taekwondo, it’s been a good lesson for life too. I was kind of his apprentice so to speak. He taught me the professional side of it. He taught me how to warm up. He’s actually still one of my strength and conditioning coaches now. He’s still largely involved in my career. What do you Taekwondo?
Up until 6 months ago, I worked for GE Transportation and we manufactured locomotives. I was a member of the service team. I did a lot of analytics and logistics for our customers. About 6 months ago, I made the decision that for the final push for Rio – to make sure that my performances were great – I needed to leave and solely concentrate on training. But for about 2 ½ years I worked for GE. While Taekwondo might be extremely popular in other countries, it’s not as popular in the United States. Because of that, the US Olympic Committee doesn’t fund us like they do swimmers. We get some money, but at the end of the day, there’s not as many sponsors for Taekwondo as there are for other sports. Over the last 3 years, I’ve probably spent at least $200,000 just working to qualify for the Olympics. It was a means to an end. I had a conversation with my family and they were very supportive. They said you’ll always be able to get a job when you’re 60 but you wont be able to go to the Olympics. So that’s when I left GE to focus on training. And the plan once I retire from this is to go to law school. Litigation has always fascinated me, and from a mental standpoint it’s much like Taekwondo. You spend months training and
preparing your case just to go against this one person or their case. And that’s extremely similar to Taekwondo. I’m hoping law will be something that will help the transition to the real world a little easier. What’s your biggest strength as an athlete? My determination. I’ve never been the fastest. I’ve never been the strongest. I’ve never been the smartest. But I’ve been willing to work harder than everybody else and that’s a huge factor in why I am where I am today. What’s your biggest weakness as an athlete? I can be pretty pig headed. When I get something in my head, it usually takes overwhelming science or other people to convince me that I’m wrong. At the same time, that’s something that’s pretty necessary in a fighter. You have to have that belief that you’re gonna be able to do it, and it has to be done your way if you’re gonna be successful. Who do you see as your biggest competition in Rio? Traditionally your powerhouses are Korea, Turkey, and Iran. The great part about the Olympics is that each weight
category is made up of the 16 best athletes in the world. When you have the 16 best athletes in the world, whether your #1 or #16, it doesn’t really make a difference. Anyone can win it on any given day. So the policy and mental approach we always take is one match at a time. At the Olympics, every single match is the equivalent of a world championship final. There’s a ton of pressure with so many highlevel athletes competing against each other. At the end of the day, it could go to anybody. If you ask any of the competitors in the bracket, that’s one of the things we love about it. When you’re not in the gym, where can we find you around Oklahoma City? My favorite type of food is Asian food. You’ll typically find me having pho or vermicelli, or there’s a new ramen place that just opened up called Goro Ramen in the Plaza District. Do you have a pre-competition ritual? I eat an omelet before every competition. I usually have a veggie-heavy omelet. I tend to have a nervous stomach and don’t like to eat before I compete. I always start off a competition day with an omelet though to get some energy.
photos courtesy of Meghan O’Leary
Meghan O’Leary rowing
How did you first get into rowing? I first began rowing in the summer of 2010. I was living and working in Connecticut. I grew up playing all kinds of sports and was a two-sport athlete at the University of Virginia (volleyball and softball). When I moved to Connecticut for work, I was looking for something new to do in my free time. I remember thinking to myself that I was in the northeast, and I knew rowing was a popular sport. So I Googled “rowing” and found a little community boathouse on the Connecticut River. After the first lesson, I was hooked. That was six years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.
sport that is incredibly challenging, but also incredibly peaceful. There’s something spiritual about being out on the water as the sun is coming up, surrounded by nature. Beyond the aesthetic, rowing put me totally out of my comfort zone, and I loved that. I had never done anything like it before. It challenged me in an entirely new way and there’s a certain addictive element to that. You’re constantly chasing perfection in trying to find the perfect stroke, the perfect race. In the process, you are learning so much about yourself. Rowing has challenged me to continually craft and create a better version of myself each day
What made you fall in love with the rowing?
What does training to be an Olympic athlete look like?
I’ve always loved the water and loved being outdoors. Rowing is a beautiful
It’s really tough but very rewarding. Especially in a sport like rowing, you
Everything you do and the decisions you make are around rowing and training. Training to be an Olympic athlete requires making a lot of sacrifices, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. 14
are living to exhaust yourself. We train 6-8 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. It’s a full time job and you have to be all-in to be successful. I like to describe it as a “monastic lifestyle” where you’re doing the same thing every day, living simply and living focused. Everything you do and the decisions you make are around rowing and training. Training to be an Olympic athlete requires making a lot of sacrifices, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. What does it mean to be an Olympian? It is an incredible feeling, and I’m not quite sure it has fully sunk in. Being an Olympian was a life goal and a dream I have had since I was very young. To have achieved that is such an amazing feeling. I will say that being an Olympian is much more than just competing at the Olympic Games. It’s the journey and the sacrifices you made to get there. It’s the people and the relationships that helped you get there. It’s so much more than just what you are or achieved. It’s bigger than that.
Who is your favorite Olympian of all time? There are so many incredible Olympians and Olympic moments that stand out, it’s tough to pick just one. I will say that as a young girl, I was obsessed with Mia Hamm. I loved watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team on T.V. and would record every game I could. She was incredibly inspiring to watch as a young athlete, especially as a female athlete. It was great having other female athletes as role models. Do you have any hobbies outside of rowing? In another life, I would be a documentary filmmaker. I love storytelling. Before I was training professionally in rowing, I worked for ESPN for five years. How are you feeling going into the Rio Olympics? The experience has been incredible. I feel surprisingly calm and confident headed into the biggest competition of my life. As I said earlier, it is so much about what you do before the Olympics that gets you here. I want to have the best performance possible and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. What brought you to Oklahoma City? I was actually born in Tulsa, but only lived there for nine months, so I don’t remember much from that time. The US Rowing Training Center is based in Oklahoma City at the Devon Boathouse. My rowing partner, Ellen Tomek, and I chose this location as our home base in the fall of 2013 after the women’s double boat class was removed from the US Rowing Training Center in Princeton, NJ. What is it like training at the Devon Boat House in Oklahoma City? The Devon Boathouse is beautiful. It’s a state of the art facility and has everything an athlete needs to train at the highest level. The Oklahoma City community is incredibly supportive. It’s really neat to see how the riverfront has developed around the Boathouse District lately. When you’re not training at the Devon Boathouse, where can we find you in OKC? I love the Wedge Pizzeria, Cafe Kacao, CousCous Café, and Mediterranean Deli. On Sundays, I like to plan excursions to hike and explore some of the surrounding lakes.
A woman sits on a terrace at Tiki hostel in Cantagalo favela, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Eviction by Ricardo Moraes | photos by REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
As sports arenas rose up around them and neighbors’ houses were demolished, around 50 families remained in Vila Autodromo, a favela bordering the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They refused to leave the favela, which they described as “paradise” because of a lack of violence compared with poorer areas elsewhere in the city. With the 2016 Olympics in Rio, favelas and slums across the city have been occupied by Brazilian troops to enforce order and torn down to make way for the extensive infrastructure required to host the Olympic Games. In Vila Autodromo, over 90 percent of residents have been displaced. The holdouts, despite violent run-ins with police, vow to fight eviction at whatever the cost. Now living in a ghost town with sporadic access to water and electricity, the families have become a symbol against the use of the Olympic Games to modernize Rio, a move critics say is only benefiting the rich. Remaining residents of Rio’s slums show what is left of their homes after they were forced to move to make room for Olympic stadiums.
Construction work for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park is seen from a partially demolished house in the Vila Autodromo favela in Rio.
Children play in Rocinha slum in Rio. Troops have intermittently occupied Rioâ€™s largest slum in an effort to improve security and decresase gang violence ahead of the Olympics. 18
Denise Costa, 65, outside her house in the Vila Autodromo slum in Rio. Speaking of the Olympics, Costa said, â€œSimply because of Olympic Games, a lot of families were destroyed.â€?
Children play soccer in the Vila Autodromo slum in Rio. The slum was completely demolished and the residents were forced to move as the Olympic facilities were built.
Children play near demolished houses in the Vila Autodromo favela while cranes building Olympic Stadiums loom in the background.
An aerial view shows what is left of the Vila Autodromo favela in Rio. Many slums and favelas were demolished to make room for hotels and Olympic stadiums ahead of the 2016 Summer Games. 20
Usain Bolt wins the gold medal in the 200m track finals at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
. Usain Bolt .
Photo by REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Fastest man in the world
courtesy of INSP/Amy Mackinnon
With six Olympic gold medals, 11 World Championships, and half a dozen world records under his belt, Usain Bolt gives an exclusive interview with the International Network of Street Papers as he heads into his third Olympic Game. On the 5th of August 2012, two billion people around the world were united in one activity - watching sport. Their focus was a packed stadium in the east end of London where shortly before 8 p.m. some 80,000 people fell silent as tension mounted ahead of the most prestigious race in athletics. The glittering occasion was the Olympic men’s 100m final and more than one quarter of the world’s population was fixated on one man: Usain Bolt. This was it. Bolt pushed his feet back into the starting blocks, paused
briefly, and crossed himself as he cast his eyes up to the sky. He stole one final look at the finishing line and settled for the race. Years of training had gone into preparing for the next ten seconds. The calming advice of Bolt’s coach ran through his mind… ‘run through the line’… ‘relax your shoulders’… Bolt was unflappable. When a bottle was thrown from the crowd as the runners settled on the blocks, others were distracted but Bolt was cool as the proverbial cucumber.
“I was aware of something but I didn’t know exactly what it was. I was just focused on the gun and the race,” the 29 year-old Jamaican said. The tension was palpable, the collective moment of anticipation around the world broken by the crack of the start-gun, and 9.63 seemingly effortless seconds later, Bolt stormed across the finish line to defend his Olympic gold medal. In doing so, the man from Jamaica achieved legendary status.
I want to create a legacy and be remembered as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Usain Bolt: Superstar Bolt’s record is unprecedented. He won three gold medals and broke three world records at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in China. He became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100m and 200m races in world record times, and was part of Jamaica’s relay team that smashed the world record for 4x100m race. In 2012, he once again created history at the London Olympic Games by defending all three titles. This month, during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, he will be looking to defend his titles and make history yet again. He has comfortably held his world record time of 9.58 seconds - set at the Berlin World Championships - since 2009, and has only lost twice in the the 100m race. Going into the 2016 Summer Games, he seems unstoppable. A Legend is Born Bolt was born in Jamaica on August 21, 1986. His parents ran the local grocery store in a small town called Sherwood Content, and from an early age he spent his time playing cricket and football. In his early teens, he picked up various awards for running but says it wasn’t until he won the 200m at the 2002 World Junior Championships,
aged 15, that he realized he could make a career out of running. At that point, he had grown to 6’ 5” tall and physically stood out among his peers, and his time of 20.61 made him the youngest world-junior gold medalist ever. In 2002, he received the IAAF Rising Star Award and a year later he won gold at the 2003 World Youth Championships. Building a Legacy Bolt’s build is perhaps not what you would expect of a sprinter. He was born with scoliosis, a condition which warps the spine, leaving one leg slightly shorter than the other, and his imposing frame adds weight - requiring all the more power to accelerate and maintain his speed. His height also affects his lane choice in the 200m and relays, and he prefers to run in either the outside or middle; “I don’t like the inner lane as I am tall and need a wider turn.” Bolt follows a demanding training schedule. He wakes up at 6:30 a.m. each day and trains morning, noon, and night. During his training sessions, he works on his strength, speed, and reactions - Bolt reacts to the starter gun in 0.146 seconds. “I do a combination of different types of training depending on the time of year. It actually involves weight lifting
Bolt talks to kids at the sports facility his foundation built in his hometown, Sherwood Content. Photo by PACE Sports Management
in the morning, running in the afternoon, and core strength exercises at night.” So what inspires him to make sacrifices and keep going? “I want to create a legacy and be remembered as one of the greatest athletes of all time,” he says modestly as if he’s not already achieved that goal. Surprisingly, his diet hasn’t always been as rigorous as his training schedule. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘fast food,’ Bolt confesses his gold medal victory at the 100m final in Beijing, China was fuelled by chicken nuggets. “In Beijing I ate a lot of chicken nuggets - but in London there was more selection so I had fruit and bread.” A Natural Showman In spite of the fact that he’s the fastest man on earth, Bolt says that people challenge him to race everywhere he goes. Most famous, perhaps, was his encounter with Britain’s Prince Harry during his visit to Jamaica. Both a sportsman and good sport, Bolt is a natural showman. At the London Olympics, he did laps of the arena, playing to the crowd and cameras - even playing photographer at one point. After his victory in the 100m, Bolt reached into the crowd of jockeying press photographers and borrowed a camera from Swedish sports photographer, Jimmy Wixtrom of Aftonbladet, one of Scandinavia’s biggest papers. He then snapped shots of an ecstatic press pack, crowd, and fellow Jamaican sprinter, Johan Blake. Wixtrom later published Bolt’s photos, saying they were, “pretty good.” “I like to put on a show for the fans who come to watch,” says Bolt whose signature ‘lightning Bolt’ pose has made him a world icon. “It (the lightning Bolt) comes from a dance that was popular in Jamaica in 2008,” he explains. “I adapted it slightly and I saw that people liked it so I kept doing it. It’s now my signature pose called ‘to di world.’” The Jamaican’s speed, charisma, and the fact that he is instantly recognizable the world over, make him an advertiser’s dream. Indeed, in 2010 he set a different kind of record when he extended a contract with Puma reportedly worth $26million - to make it the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of athletics. The deal included the launch of the ‘Bolt Collection’ - a
range of clothes, shoes, and accessories featuring a silhouette of the athlete’s signature pose. At any given time, he maintains nearly a dozen sponsorship deals, ranging from sports drinks to headphones to telecoms. Off the Track Having dominated the sprinting world for eight years now, Bolt says he’s considered diversifying into other sports; he’d like to pursue professional soccer when he retires from running. Aside from sport, he has other passions including a charity he set up in his own name to help children in Jamaica. The main aim of the Usain Bolt Foundation, he says, is to give something back to the community he grew up in, a country where levels of childhood poverty are over 15%. “The Usain Bolt Foundation is dedicated to helping children to
I will continue trying to do as much as possible for the community to make it better. enhance their lives through educational and cultural development and help them fulfil their dreams,” he explains. “I like helping children and giving them a chance in life. I am fortunate in that my sponsors work with me on programs to help improve the lives of kids in Jamaica.” In 2012, Bolt’s foundation built a new sports facility for the people of Sherwood Content, where he grew up. The space benefits some 1,500 locals. In his address at the ribbon cutting, Bolt said, “I will continue trying to do as much as possible for the community to make it better. For me, it is always a joy to come home.”
He says Jamaica’s economic problems cause him concern, particularly the rising number of homeless children: the latest survey estimated Jamaica may have around 6,500. “I am not comfortable with the large number of homeless children I see on the road [in Jamaica],” he says adding that he admires the work of the street paper movement. “I fully support endeavors that stop marginalization amongst our people. I applaud you on your work and hope that you can make a difference to people’s lives when they find themselves in a difficult situation.”
Jessica, 9, poses for a photograph in an alley, also known as “viela”, in the Mare favela of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fight for Peace by Carlos Viana and Daniel Flynn | photos courtesy of Reuters/Nacho Doce
2016 Olympic torchbearer, Carlos Viana, explains how Fight For Peace, a boxing and martial arts academy for youth living in Rio’s poorest favelas, changes lives. Much of the Complexo da Mare, a teeming neighborhood of 140,000 people near Rio’s international airport, is controlled by drug gangs despite efforts in recent years to break their grip on the city’s poor districts ahead of August’s Olympic Games here. For many young residents, the Luta Pela Paz (Fight For Peace) academy offers a glimpse of an alternative: a chance to build discipline and selfesteem through boxing and martial arts. Backed by partners including financial services company Credit Suisse and sportswear maker Reebok, it has more than 1,000 students between seven and 29 years old. Beneath a street lamp 19-year-old boxer Wanderson de Oliveira does pull-ups from a metal bar outside the academy while two skinny young boys watch intently. 24
“Boxing is my passion ...,” said Oliveira, who is training for the national championships in November. “I am trying to raise myself up to get out of here.” Lifting weights and shadow boxing in the academy’s blue-lit courtyard, Oliveira says his dream is to fight in the Olympics someday. “It would mean everything to me to represent my country and, even more, to represent this community.” Fight for Peace, which opened in 2000, is not just about sport. Oliveira is enrolled in citizenship classes, and the charity helps young people excluded from formal education to return to studying. The army helped occupy the neighborhood before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to drive out the gangs, but residents say police were unable to
retain control once the military left. La’Ruama Silva, 26, says security improved, but police still avoid areas controlled by the traffickers. A former student of the academy, she enrolled her eight-year-old son Juan to keep him off the streets. “The boys see the traffickers have money, and they want to be like them,” Silva said. “I wanted to take my son away from that view of life through sport.” She said Roberto Custodio, a boxer who trained at Fight for Peace and went to the 2012 London Olympics with the Brazilian team, is a role model for local children. “Boxing is cool,” said nine-yearold Carlos Eduardo Souza de Castro, his big red gloves weighing down his skinny arms. “When I grow up, I want to be a boxer or, if not, a doctor.”
In the academy’s blue-painted gym decked out with punching bags and a boxing ring in one corner, some twodozen children take lessons from 28-year-old Alan Duarte. Duarte said he started boxing there to protect himself at school but realized the sport was a way of avoiding crime. Nine members of his family have been killed in drug-related shootings, he said. “I never saw a black man in my family die another way,” said Duarte. “I might be a trafficker if it weren’t for this.” With an estimated 60,000 homicides in 2014, Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world, according to the Institute of Applied Economic Research. Half of Brazilian men who die between the ages of 15 and 29 are lost to homicide. Few strangers stray inside the slum, or favela, where the gangs impose their law. Yet life there sometimes appears more peaceful than in the turbulent metropolis outside. Children play in the streets as night falls, while music drifts across the jumbled rooftops. Duarte’s students, more than half of them young girls, form a line to take a swing at his gloved hands. In one exercise, three students guide a blindfolded girl through a patch of boxing gloves strewn on the floor, trying not to touch them. Seven-year-old Marcia Cristina Lucas is smaller than the rest. Although she smiles a lot, she does not shout like them. “Marcia can’t speak or hear, but she’s a good student, and this helps her,” said Duarte. “It’s all about developing a sense of responsibility and trust.” Pedro Artur, who has worked at the academy for 14 years, says the favela is misunderstood: The vast majority of inhabitants are law abiding. “The main problem we have is unemployment because of prejudice,” he said. “If you say you live in a favela, no one wants to give you a job. So we have to fight harder.” Carlos Viana, 33, joined Fight for Peace without even a primary education and used what he learned to graduate from university. His story helped him win a place as torch carrier for the upcoming Olympics in Rio. “I want to carry the Olympic torch to show that it’s possible to overcome adversity,” he said, “and to send a message of motivation to others.”
Children practice during a session at a boxing school, in the Mare favela.
Meet David compiled by Ranya Oâ€™Connor | photos by Whitley Oâ€™Connor
David is a vendor for The Curbside Chronicle. You can find him selling off W. Memorial Rd. and N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City. In his spare time, David enjoys writing love poetry. On the following pages, David shares a bit about his personal life and a few of his original poems. 26
Where are you from? I was born in Douglasville, Georgia. My mother had three kids and got to the point where she couldn’t take care of all three of us, so she gave her rights to our granny. We were with granny until she got sick with lung cancer. When she got lung cancer, she had to put us in foster care. I was four years old when they split me and my sister away from our younger brother. They kept me and my sister together.
When I was seven, they found a couple that wanted to adopt us. We were with them for three years. It would have been longer but they were beating me. They liked to use a wooden paddle. I had bruises up and down my back, butt, and legs. I didn’t tell anyone about it, but my teachers noticed at school because I wouldn’t ever sit down in my chair. Then they put us in a children’s shelter.
Was that the first time you experienced abuse? The years from age four to seven, they would send me and my sister to my dad’s house. I hated it there. Him and his mom had messed up ways of punishing me. One time for a week straight, they made me eat nothing but raw onions, bread, and water. Because of that I don’t eat onions. Another time, he locked me in the toolshed in the middle of winter with no clothes because I was acting up. His mom once put snuff in my mouth, and I wound up in the bathroom puking all day. I don’t remember what I did to deserve the punishment. Probably just stupid little kid stuff. After DHS found out about that, they quit sending us over there.
What was it like living in the children’s shelter? The shelter was pretty cool. I’ve got vague memories from being there and watching different cool movies. And then my sister’s childhood friend and her parents took us in. But by this point, I was such a demon child from being abused that they couldn’t stand me. I was crazy. I was ten and already playing with fire. I would take a paper towel and light it on the gas stove and just watch it burn. I was a scary kid.
I started acting out because of all the stuff I’d been through. The whole time, I wanted to be with my real mom. But being in the system, it’s not your choice. They put me in Georgia Mental Health Institute. It’s a place for kids that have severe behavioral problems, which fit me perfectly at this point. I was there for several months.
What was Georgia Mental Health Institute like for you as a kid? There’s good that came out of it but there’s also crappy things that came out of it. I didn’t really like being there except for playing pool. They had a pool table at the mental institute. That’s where I learned how to play. I love playing pool. That’s one thing I do better than anything else. I played in a league one year. I’ve played in tournaments. I’ve even won some tournaments. It’s a hustle. I used to gamble with pool and made a good bit of money doing that. I’d lose a lot on purpose at bars and make people think they could beat me, then I’d up the stakes at the very end, win, and take their money.
Outside of the homes I grew up in as a kid, I’ve never had my own place. I’ve rented rooms and things like that... Sleeping on somebody’s couch or floor is about the closest I’ve come.
Were you in the system your whole life? I was adopted when I was 10. She met me and wanted to take me in, even with my behavioral issues. She had three biological sons already. I was the oldest. She’s like a mom to me. I call her mom even to this day.
What was school like for you as a kid? I started to try out for the basketball team in high school, but by this point I was already working at McDonalds. It was my first job. I think I could have made the team. But I had to drop out of tryouts because of work, which sucked because I really wanted to play basketball. Money was tight. Anything I wanted I had to pay for on my own, so that’s why I got a job.
Sophomore year, I got kicked out [of school] and put in an alternative school. But I didn’t graduate. I dropped out of school two months before I finished 11th grade. So I made the mistake of dropping out. I left home three months later and started working at Waffle House.
What was it like when you left home? I moved in with the cook at Waffle House and that’s when I started drinking heavily. I was drinking like a fish. It hardly fazed me. I didn’t want to think about things. I missed my real family. I finally met my mom again when I was 15.
As I started getting older, every year or two I started a new drug. I got into coke. I got into meth. I got into crack real bad. It just got worse over the years, where I couldn’t get anything going for me. I could get jobs but I couldn’t keep ‘em. I worked at Waffle House on and off from 1999 to 2010.
When did you first experience homelessness? I was 18. I went up to Chattanooga to stay with my biological mom for a little bit. In a way I still wanted to be with my real family and it hurt that I couldn’t. She was renting a room from a couple. They didn’t like my attitude so they kicked me out. That was the first time I stayed on the streets. Outside of the homes I grew up in as a kid, I’ve never had my own place. I’ve rented rooms and things like that. But I’ve never had my own place since I left home. Sleeping on somebody’s couch or floor is about the closest I’ve come. I’m 34 years old. I’ve been homeless 16 years now. I’ve had a roof over my head at times. But about 80% of that time I was sleeping outside under a tarp or in a tent. I’ve slept under bridges. I’ve slept on concrete.
I’ve always been a romantic. I love writing love poetry and singing love songs.
How did you end up in Oklahoma? I left Georgia hitchhiking in 2012 and wound up here. When I moved to Oklahoma City, I decided to get clean. I quit everything. In all honesty, it’s been very rough. The main reasons I’ve always stayed high and drunk is because I hate thinking and feeling. A lot of times I don’t know how to process the emotions. It hurts too much. And now I’m sitting here having to deal with it. I went through weeks of withdrawals. The hardest weeks of my life. They hurt so bad. They hurt mentally, physically, and emotionally. But I’ve really tried. I’ve done NA and I’ve done Celebrate Recovery programs.
You went to a mental health hospital as a child. Has that been something you’ve continued to struggle with as an adult? I was diagnosed with bipolar and depression a few years ago. As the lady who diagnosed me put it, I have extreme highs or extreme lows. I’m not really ever in the middle. I had started to have suicidal thoughts. Then I tried to hang myself. The last thing I remember was not being able to breathe. I passed out but my friend found me and cut me down. I turned myself into the Crisis Center after that.
A couple days later, I called my adopted mom and told her about it. It hurt her. And from then on, I swore I’d never try it again. Knowing that I hurt my mom hurt me. Had it not been for her, I probably wouldn’t care. She’s an ordained minister. Had I not grown up with her, I probably wouldn’t have gotten into church. And I think my religion has a lot to do with why I’m still here today.
Did they give you medicine to help? They gave me meds, but I hated them. Some of the meds gave me vivid nightmares… I still try and take what I’m supposed to. But my medicine makes me not want to get out of bed. All I want to do is sleep all day because I’m groggy. Sometimes I still get the suicidal thoughts. I just don’t act on them anymore. Because of the promise I made myself. Because of the promise I made my mom.
What do you wish people knew about homelessness? How much of a mental toll it takes on you. How much of a physical toll. For me, it’s taken such a mental toll. That could be why my meds don’t work that well. It messes with me so bad at times. The longer I go, the more it messes with me. And then the physical ailments. I’ve been homeless so long I’ve got so many things wrong with my body. It makes me feel so much older than I am. Like my hips. The left side is completely flat because of sleeping on concrete for years.
How has it been working for Curbside? When I was panhandling, people wouldn’t look at me. They would try to avoid me. They’d turn off another way so they didn’t have to be anywhere near me. It’s different with Curbside. A lot of people that buy magazines from me tell me that they love the magazine and love the program. And I get people that used to see me panhandling and they buy from me now. They’re automatically proud of me because I’m out here working and doing something.
What are your plans for the future? I’ve always wanted my own place. I want my own car. That’s part of the reason I’ve been working so hard. And then I’d like to get another job. I like waiting tables a lot. That’s what I did at Waffle House for years.
I also have a dream of writing my own book of poetry. I started writing when I was 18, shortly after I became homeless. I write about things I’ve been through. I write about things I see. I write poems about girls that I like. I just write what comes to mind.
What is your favorite type of poetry? I write a lot of love poetry. It just flows until my mind and heart says, ‘ok this one’s done.’ And then I put it aside and try to hold onto it. But I’ve lost a lot of poetry over the years.
Would you call yourself a romantic then? Very much so. I’ve always been a romantic. I love writing love poetry and singing love songs. An oldie but a goodie that I’ve always loved is “Good Morning Beautiful” because I’m a country boy. You remember Fievel Goes West, the movie about the little mouse? There was a song in that called “Somewhere Out There.” It’s a duet. It’s one of my favorites.
What are your hobbies? I love mixed martial arts. Brazilian jujitsu is my favorite. I got into it watching it on TV. I also love to read. John Grisham is my favorite author. I’m reading Jack Higgins right now and Stuart Woods. I read every day. I read on the bus. I read at night after work. Music and reading keep my mind off of things. David sits on the stoop where he sleeps.
倀爀漀甀搀 匀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀攀爀 漀昀 吀栀攀 䌀甀爀戀猀椀搀攀 䌀栀爀漀渀椀挀氀攀 䨀伀䤀一 唀匀 吀䠀䤀匀 䴀伀一吀䠀℀ 䄀唀䜀唀匀吀 ㈀ 䰀䤀嘀䔀℀ 漀渀 琀栀攀 倀氀愀稀愀 一漀爀洀愀渀 ㈀渀搀 䘀爀椀搀愀礀 䄀爀琀眀愀氀欀 䄀唀䜀唀匀吀 ㈀㘀 䘀椀攀猀琀愀 䘀爀椀搀愀礀 椀渀 䠀椀猀琀漀爀椀挀 䌀愀瀀椀琀漀氀 䠀椀氀氀 吀唀䔀匀䐀䄀夀匀Ⰰ 㔀㨀㌀ ⴀ㜀㨀㌀ 瀀⸀洀⸀ 圀栀攀攀氀攀爀 䌀爀椀琀
poems by Curbside vendor, David Sharp
I Couldn’t, I’m Sorry You Every time I think of you I feel like the planet earth With the sun shining down Brightening the day, then Once I start, I can’t stop Even though you’re on my mind For a long time and it stops me From doing other things that I am supposed to be doing I still don’t want to stop I want to have you Always on my mind
I started to like you Because of your kindness I asked you And you said yes I called and texted But you wouldn’t answer When I asked you why All you would say was ‘I couldn’t, I’m sorry’ Couldn’t get anything else It hurt so much Thought you were so sincere Now I’m able to see You definitely were not Who I really thought you were I haven’t seen you since And I’m good with that I’m back to what I wanted Back to being alone Tried to be what I thought What I thought you needed But I guess I couldn’t, I’m sorry
The Very First Time From the very first time That I met you I knew that I Would never want Anybody else You are the only one I’ll ever want Or ever need For that matter And now that We are together I am the happiest person In God’s universe
CIRCLE OF LIFE Circle of life Seeds planted Trees grow Flowers bloom Berries and fruit Spring forth Circle of life
Help us employ the homeless! The Curbside Chronicle needs your help! Cut along the black lines and keep these cards in your car to hand out to individuals who could use a hand. Together we can employ and empower OKCâ€™s homeless!