Athletes take field for Romney PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 05 November 2012 12:37
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Olympic skater Scott Hamilton (center) reacts to returning to his hometown of Bowling Green while campaigning for Mitt Romney. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Olympic champion skater Scott Hamilton was excited to be back in his hometown of Bowling Green.
And he was excited to be there supporting Gov. Mitt Romney “one of the finest men” he knows.
The former Olympian was at the Republican campaign office in downtown Bowling Green this morning along with golf legend Jack Nicklaus and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor to rally the faithful in the waning hours of the election.
Hamilton recalled meeting Romney when he arrived in Salt Lake City to take over the troubled 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
The Olympics were a mess of ethical, organizational and financial problems. The Olympics “were going to be a humiliation for the United States,” Hamilton said.
But Romney turned them around. “He was amazing,” Hamilton said. By the end when Romney spoke at the closing ceremonies, Hamilton wondered: “Why can’t a guy like that run the United States?”
The appeal of such a hands-on leader drew Hamilton into politics. The skater, who grew up in Bowling Green, said he appeared with Ronald Reagan when he came to Bowling Green. “But I didn’t know what I was doing.”
This year, he said, he begged the Romney campaign to send him to his native Ohio to campaign. “I’m all in.”
Hamilton evoked memories of growing up in Bowling Green as a place where people worked and played together.
The country is now divided. “I don’t want it to be ugly,” he said.
He decried “the vile, dispiriting character assassination” launched against Romney.
President Obama has not fulfilled his promise to bring people together.
And while the divisiveness was not all on one said, Obama lacked the leadership to foster collaboration.
Romney “is the one to bring us together,” Hamilton said.
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Two future voters look on during Monday morning's visit by Scott Hamilton and Jack Nicklaus to promote Mitt Romney's candidacy.
Nicklaus told the 60 or so gathered in the campaign office that he had been reluctant to get involved in Politics. He said back in 1976 President Gerald Ford asked him to campaign in Ohio for him, but Nicklaus, fearing he’d alienate half his customers, begged off.
When Ford lost Ohio by less than 5,000, and lost the election to Jimmy Carter, Nicklaus regretted that decision.
When Romney asked him to help, he had no such hesitations.
Over the past four years, he said his business Nicklaus Designs has had to lay off half its employees. “These are not just people who work for me, these are friends,” he said.
He’s seen his business in the shrink.
Nicklaus said his great-grandparents came over from Europe, and his grandfathers worked hard physical jobs, hoping for better for their children.
His father ran a pharmacy in Columbus as did his uncle. Another uncle was a dentist.
Though Nicklaus started studying to be a pharmacist, his father said his true talents were elsewhere, on the golf course.
His family story is one of the American Dream coming true. Romney will keep the dream alive.
In his introduction of the golfer, State Rep. Randy Gardner said that the Republicans needed “a Jack Nicklaus comeback on the back nine.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:30
 

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