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17 powerful quotes from athletes representing Team USA at the Olympics.

Our country's greatest athletes have some major words of wisdom.

17 powerful quotes from athletes representing Team USA at the Olympics.

For 16 days in August, the world will unite in shared anticipation, joy, defeat, and amazement. Welcome to the Olympics.

Athletes from around the world will come together in the name of competition, pitting humanity's strongest, fastest, and most talented individuals against one another in the name of eternal glory. In other words, for those participating and those of us who will be glued to our TV sets over the next two weeks, it's a pretty big deal.


Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images.

Athletics aside, the Olympics represent some of the best aspects of humanity and our shared interests.

The world is filled with conflict, war, and destruction. There's something special about gathering people spanning the globe in the name of something that manages to be competitive while also remaining peaceful. Whether we're cheering on an Olympic legend in his last hurrah or rooting for a refugee team of underdogs, we can enjoy a short period of time where the world feels less conflicted and more unifying.

Team USA itself is made up of individuals of varying races, religions, sexual orientations, and backgrounds. Each athlete has their own unique perspective to share with the world. The common themes throughout illustrate that unity can be a product of diversity.

Below, you'll find inspirational quotes from 17 athletes who will be representing the United States in the Rio Olympics.

1. Michael Phelps

2. Simone Biles

3. Katie Ledecky

4. Allyson Felix

5. Missy Franklin

6. Serena Williams

7. Jordan Burroughs

8. Ryan Lochte

9. Aly Raisman

10. Alex Morgan

11. Kerri Walsh Jennings

12. Diana Taurasi

13. Carli Lloyd

14. Claressa Shields

15. Nathan Adrian

16. Dana Vollmer

17. Hope Solo

The Olympics run from August 5 to 21. A full schedule of events can be found on the official Rio 2016 website.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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