Bill Kauffman Blog for Aug. 6 - Gold Standard

Aug. 07, 2008, 3:17 a.m. (ET)

Aug. 6, 2008

Heart, Personality of Gold
In an earlier blog post, I mentioned how Therese Crawford and Norisha Campbell had been continuing to train with the Olympic squad even after not making the preliminary Olympic roster.

Both players have been unselfish over the past month or so, putting the overall team ahead of their own desires. Yes, I am sure they would take an Olympic roster spot in a heartbeat if they had earned it, but have not sat around in self-pity for not being on the final roster. Instead, they have directed their energies and talents into making the team better.

Today, I found out their devotion and support for this team will not be ending soon. If all plans come together, they will be at the Olympics cheering on Team USA, their teammates and friends.

Therese and Norisha are true champions who bleed red, white and blue. To me, they have a heart of gold embodying the full meaning of the Olympic spirit.

JJ’s Dedication to Mother
Jennifer Joines wondered this summer if her chances for an Olympic Games roster spot faded into thin after only playing the first week of the FIVB World Grand Prix before being sent home to train with a small group of individuals in Colorado Springs. At that time, other players were able to build a case to make the Olympic roster.

When told she had made the team nearly three weeks later, she immediately called home to tell her parents. According to Elliott Almond’s article in the San Jose Mercury News on Aug. 6, Jennifer sobbed into the phone as she announced to her mother she made the team. She is quoted in the article as saying, “Mom. This is completely for you.”

In the article, Jennifer discusses not only her selection to the Olympic Games roster, but also about her mother recovering from breast cancer surgery. Jennifer overcame some odds to reach her dreams, and many times, faith in one’s ability overcomes a little self-doubt.

For me, this story hits close to home as my mother also battled through breast cancer. I, too, battled with a confidence issue around the time she was diagnosed with the disease and fortunately used her strength in battling cancer to overcome my own problems.

Thankfully, I was able to share many of my own accomplishments with her after that until she passed away in 2000. I hope she is looking down on me and smiling as I share this accomplishment of working at the Olympic Games.

My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer’s mother as she strides toward a full recovery against this terrible disease.

Launch Pad
After a busy day in front of the media, Wednesday was a nice break to catch up on other work in preparation for the Olympic Games.

In an effort to consolidate all information on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Indoor Volleyball Team, I started to develop an Event Launch Page on our Web site at Currently, the schedule and roster with links to player/coach bios occupies the launch page. Links on that page also go to Olympic Games Web sites for the FIVB and Beijing, a full listing of the schedule and results, USA Volleyball releases, blogs, photo galleries and NBC’s tentative volleyball schedule.

If I get more time, I will further develop it into a better centralized site for information. But the most important thing was developing the launch pad to find all the information.