Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Inside an opulent ballroom at National Harbor, a setting usually occupied by people wearing business suits, it was a day when women in uniform were in charge.
The event Monday was the silver anniversary of the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium, and, for the first time in 25 years, all five branches of the military were present.
The guest speakers included admirals and generals, and an advisor to President Obama. But no one was more inspirational than four-time Olympic track and field star Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
In a speech that was humorous and stirring, she brought the officers and soldiers to their feet more than once as she spoke of doubts, of challenges and of struggles, and her search for a pain that wasn’t there.
“I set my sights on making an Olympic team, not realizing how tough it was going to be,” Joyner-Kersee said, describing in amusing detail the path to her first Olympic Games in 1984.
“About six weeks before the ‘84 games, I pulled my left hamstring. I wasn’t used to my leg not doing what I wanted it to do.”
During the Games, with her leg heavily taped, she competed with a tentative posture as she waited for her leg to give out, for the pain she expected to come. It never did. As she walked away with a silver medal in the heptathlon, she realized that expecting to lose had cost her the gold.
“The pain that I imagined, it wasn’t there,” Joyner-Kersee said. “It was all in my mind. I wasn’t thinking like a champion. I stepped in the starting blocks with a timid attitude.”
Sandra Day O’Connor, When Vail Cienega pitcher Celina Martinez found out her team would be up to bat first, she said the focus was on striking first.
“Just score and keep on scoring,” she said.
A 2-RBI single from Sarah Andrews helped jump-start Cienega’s offense who put up five early runs in the first inning and went on to capture a 10-3 victory over Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor in the consolation bracket championship game Saturday at the Mohave Tournament of Champions at Mohave High School.
“It definitely was a cushion and it definitely helps,” Martinez said of the early lead.
Martinez saw 31 batters and allowed 2 runs and six hits while walking three. She said big tournaments don’t really shake her up in the circle.
“I’ve got a good defense out there,” she said. “I’m confident in them.”
O’Connor would answer with a RBI homerun by Jessica Rodriguez in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to three, but a sloppy defensive effort in the seventh would allow Cienega to score four unearned runs and bring the score to 10-3 to end the game on the run rule.
“I don’t know if going into it, if we were super ready,” O’Connor Coach Melissa Hobson said. “You have to be ready for every game. It shows that we’re young and we need to do a better job mentally preparing.”
O’Connor tried three different pitchers against Cienega, but couldn’t seem to throw its offense off-balance.
Depth at the plate, Cienega Coach Eric Tathum said, is the Bobcats’ strong suite this year
“In years past we’ve had a solid nine, ten, eleven,” he said. “This year we’ve got one through eighteen pretty solid players and we’re confident in any one of their bats at any moment.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton, The Obama administration said Monday the war strategy in Afghanistan remains intact despite the mass killing of Afghan civilians on Sunday, allegedly by an American soldier. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the episode “inexplicable” but insisted it won’t force the U.S. to change course.
“This terrible incident does not change our steadfast dedication to protecting the Afghan people and to doing everything we can to build a strong and stable Afghanistan,” Clinton told reporters at the United Nations in New York.
Administration officials were reacting to the weekend massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children asleep in their beds. A U.S. staff sergeant is accused of wandering off his base to two nearby villages and shooting them in the middle of the night, burning some of the bodies.
The incident occurred in the wake of the burning of Muslim holy books at an air base in Afghanistan, which was followed by attacks that killed six American service members.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Washington and its NATO allies remain on course to hand over security control to the Afghans by the end of 2014. Carney said the pace of the troop withdrawal will depend on a variety of factors, but he would not say whether those include the weekend killings.
Carney would not say whether President Barack Obama believes the killings increase security risks for Americans in Afghanistan. The United States has about 90,000 troops in the country; that number is scheduled to drop to 68,000 by the end of September.
Read more at: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/no-change-in-afghan-strategy-hillary-clinton-185278&cp