With all that we're surrounded by in our day-to-day lives, all that we're bombarded with, it's important to take time to celebrate our champions. After all, everybody loves a champion.
Well, perhaps not everyone - case in point, the people who were caught off guard while driving in downtown Hood River Sunday evening. They might have gotten entangled in, or blocked off by, the line of vehicles snaking its way en route to Horizon Christian School. That was the ending point for the Hawk boys basketball team's celebratory parade of the school's first Oregon School Activities Association state championship (see front cover and Sports).
The Class 1A state basketball title is something for the small school to cherish. And there were other reasons to celebrate this past weekend, including the numerous state titles won by Hood River Valley High School skiers. Two weeks ago there was a wrestling crown won.
Championships, whether on the hardwood, slopes or wrestling room, whether in the classroom or concert hall, are culminations of hard work and dedication. The end result, the trophies and banners, are the visible recognition of a job well done. The personal triumphs and the private battles that accompany championships aren't as noticeable - yet, they're arguably more important. The route to the top is rarely paved in gold. Thusly, the journey is something to relish, as well.
Often times, championships begin with a dream. Boxing great Muhammad Ali once said that champions aren't made in the gyms. "Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision."
We all won't win championships, but we can dream of them. Not everyone will get to take home the blue trophy, but hopefully that won't stop us from trying, nor from enjoying the journey along the way.