Cheering on Team Delaware and Team USA!

Every two years, billions of men, women, and children around the world tune in to cheer on their country in the Olympic games. We track our medal count, hold our breath in the final seconds of races, and learn the stories of truly amazing athletes from far off countries – and even a few who have been training, day in and day out, from our own backyards.

This year, I’m watching the Olympics a little more closely than usual, following the efforts of the incredible Delaware athletes representing our country and the First State in Rio.

One of Delaware’s own who qualified for Rio but was unable to compete due to injury is Marquis Dendy. Marquis is a graduate of Middletown High School and still holds Delaware state records in the triple jump and long jump. Despite not being able to compete in Rio, we know Marquis is an incredible athlete and we haven’t seen the last of his gravity-defying jumps.

On the women’s field hockey team, two Delawareans led Team USA all the way to the quarterfinals before losing in a hotly contested game to Germany by just one goal. Caitlin Van Sickle, a Tower Hill grad, and Katelyn Falgowski, a former St. Mark’s Spartan, fought to the very end, with Katelyn scoring the lone American goal with just minutes left in their final game. We are proud of the teamwork and talent on display in each of the team’s games over the past week.

For the first time ever, a Blue Hen is competing at the Olympics. Just last night, the University of Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne helped the women’s basketball team defeat France to advance to the finals. Elena and the entire team are guaranteed either a gold or silver medal, and I, for one, will be cheering on Elena during the final game tomorrow afternoon against Spain.

I am incredibly proud of Delaware’s Olympians. They represent the best values of Delaware and our country – hard work, dedication, and teamwork. Even in individual competitions, every athlete has their own team of supporters, including family, friends, coaches, teachers, and neighbors. In fact, every member of Team USA has benefited from the support of countless Americans, all coming together to cheer on our athletes. Together, as a country, America marked a truly great achievement just a few days ago – we became the first country to win 1,000 gold medals in the Summer Olympics. Without the constant support for athletes from all walks of life across the country, regardless of gender, creed, or religion, this is one milestone we never would have reached. I am most proud of this achievement not because it proves we are the greatest country, but because we did it, all of us, together.

God bless and Go Team USA!