THE REVIEW: The spirit of the World Cup competition

By Daily News • Last Updated 8:55 am on Thursday, June 19, 2014

By Emily Waldon

On January 20, 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered an inaugural address that, unbeknownst to him, would hold true for many generations to come.

“The world is very different now,” he said. “For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.”

Emily Waldon

Time has shown this to become increasingly more evident by producing an immense amount of social growth on the global level attributed to the beauty of human ingenuity. Despite the improvements in global society, it is often found to be overshadowed by a universally corrupt culmination of political figureheads, who have been the source behind so many of the dark headlines we read on a daily basis.

While global politics may be far from agreeable with one another, one avenue has consistently served as a common ground for those with the desire to embrace a distraction from daily life.

It may only be for a moment. It may only surface once every four years.

When you take your first step into a soccer arena, no matter your location, the atmosphere will begin to shift. The activities that take place on the field claim no allegiance to a particular country or people group. It asks only one thing of its participants. Step on the field with pride, carrying your country with you.

A representation at the FIFA World Cup is an opportunity to step outside of political stress and widespread violence by participating in a worldwide display of competition that is unmatched by any other sport. While the level of play is by no means achieved by the meek, fans are given the opportunity to observe the finest talent from the national teams that represent 31 countries around the world.

The 2014 FIFA circuit has produced multiple first time players, completely focused on the responsibility that has been entrusted to them. While many members of the United States national team are well-known faces around their home field, several of them are experiencing the magic of World Cup participation for the first time this year.

Kyle Beckerman is a face, or should we say, “head of hair” that is not easily forgotten. The 32 year old Crofton, Md. native has developed a solid reputation for his skill level as a seasoned midfielder who fully plans to embrace every moment of his first ever FIFA experience.

With little regard for his strategically unkept mane, Beckerman’s demeanor solidifies that he was created to build a legacy for himself on the soccer field.

Beckerman will be taking his skill to a field that will feature a fresh generation of international talent at a level you will rarely witness. Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sayouba Mandé (20 years old ) and 18 year old Cameroonian forward Fabrice Olinga are just a couple of faces you will be able to observe during this competition who are proving age is not a factor when you have the drive to bring pride and recognition to your homeland.

So join in with the rest of the world as it comes to a halt and watches. Politics make room for a colorful array of face paint and cheers of victory that shake you to the core. It’s the competition of sport that has taken the spotlight from the difficulties of daily life, even if it’s just for a moment; even if it may only surface once every four years.

Sit back and celebrate as the most troubled regions around the globe pause to watch and realize they have been given a chance to hope in something again. Even just for a moment.

Emily Waldon was raised in Howard City and currently resides in Wyoming, Mich. A lifelong sports enthusiast, she also enjoys photography, traveling and bringing a fresh outlook to the world of athletics, both collegiate and professional. She can be reached at

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