A great achievement
Two homegrown athletes will be competing in the London Olympics this summer.
These kind of things don't come around too often, so Champaign-Urbana residents should savor the moment when two of our own earned their way on to the U.S. Olympic teams.
Tyler McGill became the second C-U addition on Sunday when he swam his way to a second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly, finishing just 0.18 seconds behind Olympic champion Michael Phelps and 0.33 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Ryan Lochte.
This was truly a battle of the swimming titans, genuine champions who, by any ordinary standard, were evenly matched. That McGill, a Central High School and Auburn University graduate, keeps company like that is a tremendous achievement in which he, his family members and friends and his fellow C-U citizens can take great pride.
Just think of the years of hard work that went into those 51.32 seconds that put McGill on the team that will represent the U.S. in the London Olympics.
Joining McGill on the U.S. Olympic team will be veteran discus thrower Gia Lewis-Smallwood, a Centennial High School and University of Illinois graduate.
Lewis-Smallwood noted that she's "been a lot of places" in her athletic career, but there really is nothing that equals membership on the U.S. Olympic team. It's a chance to represent your country on a world stage. It's all the sweeter for Lewis-Smallwood given the disappointment she experienced in not making the 2008 Olympic team.
So congratulations to these two special athletes who not only have brought honor to themselves and their accomplishments but have done so in a way that allows their fellow citizens to share the thrill they must feel.