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With the 2016 Rio Olympics coming to a close, we honor four participants claimed by the Santa Clarita Valley as their own:  Allyson Felix, Anthony Ervin, Abbey Weitzeil, and David Smith.

They brought home eight medals, five of which were gold.  Each of our competitors won at least one medal.   Quite an accomplishment for a small bedroom community north of Los Angeles with a rich and distinct history, yet before GPS needing “Magic Mountain” as a reference locator.

Unique about their performance, six medals were won in their sport as part of a relay or team effort.  Competing as individuals brings personal honor, but these six medals were attained as they worked with teammates to achieve victory. 

Some of this teamsmanship came from values reflective of our community:  Pulling together to maintain quality of life in our valley; raising families with exemplary work ethics; and caring for those who are vulnerable including veterans and elder seniors.

This latter effort has been achieved for decades where this community as a team has built a park in downtown Newhall to honor our veterans, raised monies and contributed to assure no one in our valley goes hungry, put a roof over the heads of those who are homeless, and volunteered at the SCV Senior Center.

Our Olympic champions learned these principles in our valley, allowing them to work athletically on a team bringing them, us, and our nation, glory.  Their achievements are etched in stone, but the basis for their character was shaped by the community fiber of all of us in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Congratulations to our Olympic medalists, as your accomplishments solidify the backbone from which you came. 

Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.- Commentary

Gene Dorio, M.D., is a local physician. His guest commentary represents his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.