Olympic Kickoff!

Olympic Kickoff!

Photo credit: Janet Donovan

Wishing the best for the launch of the Olympics today.  In happier times, I co-hosted a dinner with The Ambassador of Japan in honor of winning the Olympic games in Japan.  Prior to that Hollywood on the Potomac was selected as a small media delegation to explore the city and the upcoming site of the Olympics.  Although I was unable to participate due to a family obligation, my colleagues Brendan Kownacki and Chris Brown went in my stead.  There is no one that could have covered that as well as they did and were the envy of the international media team.  Their video is below.  Click it on.  Very funny.

This article was first posted on Dec. 23rd, 2013.

“I am not aware that the Governor Elect (Terry McAuliffe) is an Olympian,” said H.E. The Ambassador of Japan at a celebratory dinner co-hosted by Hollywood on the Potomac in honor of the Tokyo 2020 win,  “although he probably should be when you consider that political campaigns are like a decathlon.”

Virginia Governor Elect Terry McAuliffe and Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae

“In one of the tightest races the International Olympic Committee had ever voted on, Tokyo last night delivered a crushing victory to win the right to stage the 2020 Olympics. (other finalists were Istanbul and Madrid).

The announcement of the result sparked inevitable scenes of jubilation among its bid team, with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe claiming he was more elated than after his own election: “I am overjoyed. I would like to share this together with the Japanese people back home.”   Sept. 2013. The Telegraph

Tom McMillen, Reliable Source’s Emily Heil, Terry McAuliffe, Amb. Sasae, NBC’s Matt Glassman & Jackie Bradford

The intimate dinner for 26 was a celebration of the role sports play in international understanding and included sports enthusiasts Sheila Johnson of Monumental Sports & Entertainment & Mark Ein, owner of The Washington Kastles.

Olympians Dominique Dawes and Tom McMillen both gave spontaneous remarks about their own experiences.  Dominique, known in the gymnastics community as ‘Awesome Dawesome,’ is a three time Olympian who was inducted into the USA Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Michael Skehan with wife Andrea Roane, WUSA TV anchor and Dominique Dawes

Tom McMillen is a former Representative from Maryland (Dem) and a member of the 1972 US Olympic Basketball Team that lost a controversial gold medal game to the Soviet Union.  Therein lies the story…..as our favorite raconteur likes to tell it – we left it in a vault in Switzerland where it’s been napping for over 40 years.

Guests insisted on hearing from the new Governor of Virginia.  “Now comes the hard part,” he said.  But as Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said on victory night: “Virginia’s 72nd governor will master Richmond quickly. There’s nobody who has more energy, who has more heart, who goes after something and knows how to get it done.” Hear, hear.

Guests included hostess Mrs. Sasae, National Journal’s Steve Clemons, Andy Oros, Dr. Judy Niemyer, Judge William and Lynda Webster, Robert Shields, Sally Ein, Dorothy McAuliffe, Washingtonian’s Mary Yarrison, Judge William Newman, Minister Masato Ohtaka and a stop in by 1776dc’s Evan Burfield and his wife Vera.

A welcome toast:

Hollywood on the Potomac goes to Japan with Chris Brown & Brendan Kownacki: