Today marks the start of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. For the first time, Texas Children’s Hospital is taking part in the excitement, celebration and historic 16 days of competition by serving and caring for our incredible USA Olympic and Paralympic team.
As the exclusive and Official Pediatric Medicine Provider of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), Texas Children’s role is to support the USOPC’s athletes and provide expert care to Team USA throughout training and during the competition.
I can fondly remember watching the Olympics as a child. It was breathtaking, just as it is today, to see athletes from all around the world come together not only to compete, but to share a commonality among nations. It is, in fact, only once every two years that people from more than 200 nations are watching the same event and beaming with pride as they watch their own athletes walk into the Opening Ceremony.
There is no doubt that the Olympics and Paralympics are a showcase of the world’s greatest and most talented athletes but when we take a closer look—at the heart of it all—the Olympic and Paralympic Games represent unity.
While some may look at the next two weeks as just another sporting event, I believe we can learn a lot from the Games. To put it simply, we may not all come from the same background and we may not all look alike, but we are all a part of our global community.
This belief is what Texas Children’s was founded on and it’s why I firmly believe we’ve grown to where and what we are today.
From day one, Texas Children’s has treated every child, no matter where they come from, and our reach expands far beyond our nation’s borders. We commit to this each and every day because there is truly nothing better than being able to help a child reach their full potential.
I am proud to know that we are treating the best of the best in Tokyo this year, but I am even more proud that Texas Children’s ability to “Care for the Dream” is a result of decades of caring for patients from all over the world and all walks of life.
As we enjoy the Games, I want you to remember and keep in mind all that we have overcome as a nation and a global community in the past year. If it weren’t for the hard work of so many to accelerate years of research to develop safe and effective vaccines, we would not be celebrating the Opening Ceremony today. Vaccines continue to be the best way to protect ourselves and each other from contracting COVID-19 and I want to encourage each and every employee and physician to get your vaccine as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoy watching the games this summer as we witness history by watching the first Olympic event held after a year-long postponement—a postponement that impacted every athlete and every country in different ways.
There is no doubt that these Games will be different, but I believe the spirit of the Games will be stronger than ever before!
To learn more about our USOPC partnership or how you can support Team USA, please click here.