|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
August 18, 2004
From President Bush's Radio Address, 8/14/04
America's Olympic athletes are performing with honor, conducting themselves with humility, and serving as ambassadors of peace and goodwill to the entire world. By showing respect for every competitor, they are showing America's respect for the world, and they are inspiring us all.
In Greece, the Olympics are returning to their ancient birthplace, and also the birthplace of democracy. These games arrive at a challenging hour for the world -- yet we have cause for great hope.
At the opening ceremony, Team USA marched alongside men and women from Afghanistan and Iraq, nations that four years ago knew only tyranny and repression.
Today, because the world acted with courage and moral clarity, Afghanistan and Iraq are free, and their athletes are competing in the Olympic Games.
The rise of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq is transforming life in those nations, and its effect will spread far beyond their borders.
For the first time in history, people everywhere are seeing women competitors wearing the uniform of Afghanistan.
For the first time in decades, the world is seeing Iraqi Olympians free from the brutal punishment of the dictator's son.
By coming together in friendly competition, all Olympians are sending the message that freedom and hope are more powerful than terror and despair.