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Athletes from around the world
Gathered under the Italian skies, sun,
At beautiful sporting arenas,
Warmed with hope, fresh enthusiasm;
Champions with proven talents,
Challengers with unmatched courage,
Tested their skills, luck, fortune,
Competing with the world's best
At the 2006 Winter Olympic Games
Held at Turin, Italy -
A medieval town with sacred sites,
Rich history, culture, architecture,
Nestled in a mountainous region
In the heart of Western civilization.

The Games invited, attracted,
A colorful "cheering gallery"-
Dignitaries, coaches, sponsors, families;
Media to share notable achievements,
Highlight of Games with the world.

Amazing red-carpet friendliness
Greeted the world-event, visitors;
Fairytale imagination, wonderful
Creativity, breath-taking artistry,
Fire and flames, sparkle and dazzle
Uniquely Italian romance, love of life,
Interwoven with native folk-legends
Treated our senses, welcomed guests,
At the colorful Opening Ceremonies.

There were usual traditional symbols -
Flags, parades, beautiful hosts, festive
Sounds, music, costumes, ice-dancers,
Fireworks lighting stadium skies; Joyful
Laughter transcended language, culture.

There was unusual and intense security
In response to uncertain times
At every venue, throughout the games,
On every slope, in each "village" lane,
To prevent any untoward incident
That may cause fear or tension,
Dampen the spirit of the Games.
"Torino 2006" was a triumph.
Games offered grace and magic,
Inspired artistry, soulful vigor,
In Ice Dancing and Ice Skating;
Intensity, daring, showmanship,
In Snow Boarding, Ski Jumps,
Cross Country, Speed Skating.
Each event tested skills, strength,
Exuded youthful energy, pride,
Vigorous striving for the "Gold."

There was setting of new records,
Shattering of the old thresholds,
Athletes earning personal accolades,
Carrying honors for their country,
Folks back home.

There were the memorable moments:
Spontaneous celebrations over victories,
None sweeter than of Tanith and Agosto
Winning the "Silver" in Figure Skating;
Deep anguish over mishaps, losses,
Unfortunate untimely stumbles,
Nasty falls, injured pride and emotions,
None more agonizing than
Graceful princess of Ice Skating
Michelle Kwan suddenly abandoning
Her long-sought quest for "Gold"
Due to injury, before the competition.

There were other wins and losses,
Anticipated painful outcomes,
Unexpected happy surprises;
Relief over successful completions,
Ecstasy over flawless performances;
Anger over unsuccessful outcomes,
Imperfect and unspectacular finishes
Before the courtside crowd, global
Audience; we witnessed joy, ecstasy,
Tears, sadness, hope, tough resolve,
Every emotion, feeling, in-between.

Millions watched the nightly beamed
Telecasts around the world by NBC:
Event stories, athletes, remote places,
People cheering their favorite athlete
From scattered hamlets across the globe;
Feeling pride and pleasure witnessing
Young athletes strive for excellence;
Finding respite from daily burdens,
Struggles that crowd human lives.

For one brief moment, countless
Millions found a measure of hope,
Witnessed peace in this tiny village;
Our universe united in celebration,
Expectation, lessons in sportsmanship;
Games promoting goodwill, friendships,
Sidelining rancor, cultural discords,
Thoughts of a thousand conflicts,
Placing before us our true promise;
A rare gift to witness a festive spirit
Descending over the entire place,
Lusty roars echoing, ascending above
Sports theatres, celebration platforms,
To moving strains of national anthems.

The spirit of ancient times,
Medieval towns, modern Games,
Communities, cultures, nations,
Alive with contagious excitement
Briefly came together at "Torino."
We cheered celebrated past icons,
Met emerging new, future stars;
We saw fostering of friendships
Amidst the competitive rivalries;
Reminders that welcome echo of
Unifying festive gatherings need
Not end at 'Closing Ceremonies.'

World 'departed' from "Torino 2006"
With gratitude for peaceful Games;
With a renewed sense, momentum,
To discover other common grounds,
Best and brightest friendly answers,
That may serve and uplift humanity;
Lasting lessons that lighten burdens,
Recognize our intertwined destiny,
Well beyond "event" of the moment.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA February 27, 2006

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