Let the Games Begin!

February 7, 2014 By Ashley E. (Chandler) Chang

The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games are officially underway, drawing a crowd of zealous supporters who are cheering for their country’s’ athletes, all in the name of the unifying Olympic spirit.

As a former Olympic-alternate, I know why I set my DVR to record all-things Sochi, but I’m not the only one.   More than half of Americans are expected to tune in to watch Team USA because of what the Olympic Games stand for, and of course, to go for the gold!

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One of the most unique goals of the Olympics is using the Games as a tool to create “peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world.”

U.S. gold medal tools of international engagement involve a winning 3D-combo of development and diplomacy, alongside defense that help make a better, safer, and more prosperous world, and America!  Oh, and like Team USA, these global engagement tools represent the best of who we are.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be bringing you updates on America’s roster of world-class foreign assistance programs that are scoring high in two major categories: development impact abroad, and getting the most bang for our taxpaying-buck at home.

Many of the programs in the running provide life-saving HIV/AIDS treatments, are working to alleviate poverty, and are even helping to open and expand new markets for U.S. investment and exports,.  These strategic investments in development and diplomacy demonstrate why doing what’s right, is also the smart thing to do.


The Olympics prove the power of sports to bring people together all over the world, and even right here in Washington, where support for U.S. global leadership has the same bipartisan spirit.

Take the House Foreign Affairs Committee for instance.

“Some days it seems that there is not a lot of bipartisan agreement in Washington,” Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel state in a video letter, but they go on to recognize that the time to “stand together in support of the men and women of the United States Olympic Team. ”

So go Team USA!  And be sure to check back to see which one of your favorite foreign assistance programs strikes gold.