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Hawai‘i successful on world stage

What a week in sports for Hawai‘i.

Waimea High School’s Jordon Dizon may have emerged as a starter for the Detroit Lions. Kahuku High School and University of Hawai‘i alum Natasha Kai won a gold medal at the Olympics with the U.S. national soccer team.

Then Bryan Clay — who by the way will be coming to Kaua‘i soon — became the world’s greatest athlete by winning the gold in the decathlon.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team, led by Hawai‘i alums Heather Bown and Robyn Ah Mow-Santos made it to its first gold-medal match since the 1984 Los Angeles games. (Was I the only one who didn’t know women’s volleyball coach Jenny Lang Ping owned a house in Po‘ipu?)

The U.S. men, led by another Hawai‘i alum Clay Stanley, defeated Brazil last night to remain perfect at the games, wining the gold.

And how about those Little League World Series kids from Waipahu? If you missed yesterday’s game, then you missed out for sure. I was cheering for them all morning and when they were down 5-1 at the top of the sixth, I have to admit I was a little worried and decided to step away to get ready for work.

Literally by the time I had changed my outfit, Waipahu had scored three runs and got to within one. I couldn’t believe it. Serves me right to get off the couch during the middle of the game.

I said to myself that work could wait because I was watching this game. After all, it is my job to keep up with Hawai‘i sports as much as possible right?

Their 7-5 win over Lake Charles, La., was so fantastic, it just goes to show that Hawai‘i may be far away from everything, but we still produce great athletes.

It all seems to be great timing as well. With the Olympics and the Little League World Series ending today, that leaves everyone plenty of time to get ready for Hawai‘i’s opening game against Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and fifth-ranked Florida Gators.

I’ll be up early in the morning to catch it and let’s hope that I remember to get my cheers right. I’ve been doing so much of it, chanting “USA! USA!” and “Waipahu!” that I’ve been getting them all mixed up. As long as I’m rooting for Hawai‘i I should be OK.

• As a side note, I have to give Olympic props to my hometown gold medalists. Kai’s teammate Andrea Hucles of the soccer team is from the same town as me and let me tell you that even back when we were teenagers, she could run circles around me and my classmates. LaShawn Merritt is also from Hampton Roads, Va., and took gold by winning the 400 Meter Dash and the 4×400 Meter relay.


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