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THE JOURNEY BEGINS

A "weekly" journal, starting in Feb., 2004.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

Donations still appreciated while I'm in Greece. PayPal is best choice to get to me.

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DONATION GOAL

Donation goal for summer performance and details of audition funds.

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RELATED LINKS

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games,
August 13-29

International Olympic Committee

Greek National Tourism Organization

Matt Barrett's Olympics Page

Time clock,
Athens and New Orleans

Currency Converter

Click for Athens Forecast

Cat Dancing Productions
Box 91104
Lafayette, LA 70509-1104
Email

   

If you are new to my Olympic Dream site, here's were to find things:

THE DREAM - A description of my dream. This page also has related links, such as weather in Greece, currency exchange.

THE JOURNEY BEGINS - A (mostly) weekly journal of the progress I'm making towards that dream. You can jump right to the latest news here.

HOW YOU CAN HELP - This is where you'll find sponsorship and donation information as well as a list of the people and organizations that have already helped me.

DONATION GOAL - Information about the funds I'm trying to raise, and an accounting of how funds were spent for the audition.

Just under the Olympic Torch on every page you'll also find small links that will take you to those specific pages. Please send an email for more information.



THE DREAM

Each of us finds inside a yearning or a passion along certain lines, a "calling" if you will. An important one for me, for many years, has been dance, movement, and music coupled with an interest to share this through performance. We don't always act on or feel that we can act on that internal guide that pushes us towards our dreams. We are too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too poor, not good enough, maybe later, maybe when...whenever. What matters most to us is sometimes hard to talk about to others--or to even acknowledge to ourselves.

While I have been involved in dance and music for many years, I have held back, promoting and supporting others in some of the very things I wanted to do. I use to envy people who had a passion and seemed to have a clear sense of where they were going, not even recognizing that I had a passion too. After all, many years ago I moved to Louisiana because I fell in love with Zydeco dance and music...and didn't even have a place to live, know anyone, or have a job!

With my interest in movement, the Olympics have captivated me, and for many years I've longed to be involved (secretly wanting to participate as an athlete). In the first steps of moving towards my Olympic dream I became locally involved in coaching with the Special Olympics, started by Eunice Shriver for athletes with mental disabilities. The Special Olympic athletes are truly special and inspiring. I was fortunate enough to attend, as a volunteer, the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

The first Olympic Games for which there are still written records were held in 776 BC and continued for 1200 years in Olympia, Greece. Approximately 1500 years later, they were revived and the very first modern Olympic Games opened the first week of April, 1896. Held every four years, the Olympic Games have not been played in Greece since 1906.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, the Olympic Games have returned to their birthplace and will take place this August, 2004 in Athens. To me this is a monumental occasion. It is unlikely that the Olympics will be held again in Athens, their birthplace, during my lifetime. In the fall of 2003 I visited the official Olympic website, and submitted an application to volunteer. To my surprise, there was also the opportunity to participate as a performer in the opening and closing ceremonies. I hesitated, but there it was, a combination of circumstances that I've been saying I wanted. I expressed my interest and sent it off into cyberspace. I received no acknowledgement of any kind to my application.

Months passed. I felt surely my application had never even been received. Then, on January 13, 2004 I received an email from the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies Cast Department, wanting to know if I was still interested. With a great deal of emotion, I responded affirmatively. Within the week I was given an audition date of February 28, 2004.

The expense of the audition, let alone the actual Olympics in August was more than I could afford. I started to investigate various options: approached the airlines and asked them to sponsor me, inquired with a courier service about helping with a delivery, looked for frequent flyer mileage, asked a local Greek restaurant for suggestions, etc. The things I tried did not yield positive results. I considered giving up the idea, as it seems impossible. But a voice inside me said I must at least try.

Then, just two days before I had to commit to a 21-day advance airline ticket, one of my credit cards automatically granted me a $1000 increase on my card. Although the least desirable method, here, then, was a way to go. Over the next two days I struggled with the thought of going deeper into debt, kept searching for other options. At the last minute, with the help of that credit card, I booked my flight. Then freaked out!! What had I done?? All the doubts flooded in. But with that also came the excitement of pursuing a dream.

There is more to the story! The details of my journey (The Journey Begins), How You Can Help, and the Donation Goal for the summer rehearsal and performance can be found on the next few pages. A big THANK YOU! to the people who have already helped me.


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