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I had not paid much attention to the World Cup until last week when I happened to catch the second half of the US-Algeria game. The best part was that I was watching it on Univision, so when the United States won, the emotional factor went off the charts with the Latin announcers scream-singing “GOOOOOOAALLLL” accompanied by the unbridled enthusiasm that only they can express about the how and why of the win, especially after the bad calls against them in previous games. La esperanza! La fe! El corazon sobre la forma! La lucha y el espiritu de este equipo que triunfo, que es justo!

If you don’t speak Spanish, the gist is this: It was all about the spirit, determination, fight and heart of the team, not necessarily anything technical that got them the win. After that experience, I watched with excitement their dramatic game with Ghana three days later. Although they did not advance further, Team USA surely did not lose.

The flamboyant, gender-bending US Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir has had ups and downs throughout his career and his share of unfair marks by international judges. All along he refused to be anything but who he is and always excelled when he put the “Johnny” back in the performance along with his love of the sport — and his costumes.

Although he did not bring home a medal from Vancouver, he skated his personal best and received incredible press, speaking engagements, his own TV reality show, and a bright future ahead. Because he worked extremely hard, remained genuine and let his spirit shine through, Johnny surely did not lose.

What both our soccer team and Weir have in common with their world competitions is that they represented the United States with passion and perseverance. In true American style, they embraced who they are, carried on in spite of all obstacles and were victorious in their own ways.

In honor of our Independence Day holiday, let your Unique Spirit and Authenticity overtake whatever you do and see what happens. If you’re having a little trouble, then give me a buzz so I can help you find the moxie in your mojo for accomplish whatever it takes to make your country proud!

Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com June 29, 2010

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Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.

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