Text of Mitt Romney's Speech at the RNC
By The Associated Press
Sep 1, 2004 : 10:28 pm ET

The text of a speech by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as prepared for delivery Wednesday at the Republican National Convention:

I'm proud to be from Massachusetts, where John Kerry will be the junior senator until 2008.

You see, I don't believe Senator Kerry is the leader our country needs.

Let me say I respect his four months under enemy fire in Vietnam; we should honor that service as we do the service of all our fighting men and women.

No, it's John Kerry's record in his nearly 40 years since Vietnam that's the question. Study that record; if you want someone who voted for tax hikes 98 times, then yes, send him. If you want cuts in intelligence funding, then yes, send him. If you think that during the great national policy debate of the 1980s Ronald Reagan was wrong and Ted Kennedy was right, then by all means send in John Kerry. Senator Kerry now tells us he has a clear position on the war on terror.

He voted NO on Desert Storm in 1991 and YES on Desert Shield today. Then he voted NO on troop funding, just after he had voted YES.

He's campaigned against the war all year, but says he'd vote YES today. I don't want Presidential leadership that comes in 57 varieties! I want a strong President who stands his ground.

I want George W. Bush! We need unwavering leadership. America is under attack from almost every direction. We have been attacked by murderous, crazed terrorists, even in this great city. Our employers and jobs are threatened by low cost, highly skilled labor from abroad. American values are under attack from within.

Throughout our history, when our country needed us, Americans have stepped forward, standing up to every challenge. We need to step forward again today. We step forward by pursuing our education, pushing our minds to their limits, and by insisting that our schools are accountable for their successes and failures. Schools must be run for the benefit of our children, not the teacher's unions.

We step forward by innovating and taking risk in our free enterprises, by caring more about the quality of our work. We step forward by insisting on Ronald Reagan's vision of a compassionate and fiscally conservative government that promotes the opportunity of ownership and leaves more money in the hands of the taxpayers. We step forward by entering marriage before we enter parenthood.

We step forward by expressing tolerance and respect for all God's children, regardless of their differences and choices.

At the same time, because every child deserves a mother and a father, we step forward by recognizing that marriage is between a man and a woman.

We step forward by never forgetting that America is a force for good in the world, fighting for freedom and human rights.

On this, there is no question: George W.

Bush is right and the Blame America First Crowd is wrong! Americans will rise to every challenge we face.

I saw the character of America's people when I ran the Olympics in Salt Lake City. I asked speed skater Derek Parra what had been his most memorable Olympic experience.

It was not winning the silver medal. It was not winning the gold medal.

It was carrying the flag that had flown above the World Trade Center on September 11 into the Opening Ceremonies.

We had expected cheers from the 60,000 person audience as the flag entered the stadium. Instead, total silence, complete reverence.

Derek maintained his composure as the national anthem was sung.

But then the choir surprised him by singing a reprise of the last line: "O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, oe'r the land of the free and the home of the brave?" A gust of wind lifted the flag in his hands.

Derek said it was as if it came from the countless men and women who had paid the ultimate price for America's freedoms. A BREATH FROM ABOVE THAT STIRRED THE HEARTS OF THOSE OF US BELOW, WHO WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THEM.

My friends, we will move forward safer, stronger, and to better days under the courageous and compassionate leadership of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Thank you and God Bless You.



 
 



Parra's Autobiography 'Reflections in the Ice' Takes Top Honors at Benjamin Franklin Book Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Patrick Quinn
414-213-4818 (cell)
qsports@yahoo.com

Chicago, IL, June 2, 2004 – Although he's no stranger to world class competition Olympic Gold Medalist Derek Parra was in unfamiliar territory last night in the literary world of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. Nevertheless, by evening's end he had made a name for himself amidst a ballroom full of hundreds of book industry professionals, authors and publishers.  Parra's autobiography 'Reflections in the Ice - Inside the Heart and Mind of an Olympic Champion' took home top honors as winner of both the year's best 'Biography/Memoir' and 'Outstanding Cover Design'.

"It's difficult for me to describe how honored I am by these awards.  I tried to write this book from the heart, keeping my fingers crossed that people would enjoy it, but to be recognized among all of these outstanding authors and industry leaders is beyond anything I had ever dreamed. If only my high school English teacher could see me now...!'

About the Benjamin Franklin Awards:

Named in honor of America's most cherished publisher and printer, the Benjamin Franklin Award is considered one of the book industry's most prestigious honors.  Sponsored by the Publishers Marketing Association, each year thousands of books are submitted for the awards, recognizing excellence in publishing and marketing in 54 categories. A shortlist of over 150 books are selected by a panel of over 100 judges active in all phases of the book publishing industry. Finally they select the best of the best, naming three category finalists. Winners were announced at a gala awards dinner ceremony last night at Chicago's downtown Marriott Hotel, coinciding with the start of the industry's top trade show and convention, Book Expo America.

About the Book:

‘Reflections in the Ice’ is a look inside the heart and mind of a man who had no business succeeding where he did. From the Mexican barrio in Southern California, around the world, through the aisles of Home Depot to the top step of the Olympic podium, Derek Parra struggled for seventeen years to become the first Latino ever to bring home Winter Olympic Gold.  Through ‘Reflections in the Ice’ he delivers a collection of emotional, soul bearing life lessons on poverty and Olympic glory, the 9/11 tragedy, new born life, fatherhood and more.  Parra pours forth a gamut of emotions and delivers a story of unusual depth and insight well beyond the typical sport biography.

Online book orders: http://www.derekparra.com
 

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What People are Saying about
'Reflections in the Ice'


Shortly before reading Reflections in the Ice I finished Lance Armstrong's book, "Every Second Counts". Not to take anything away from Lance, I found the book at times difficult to read. It was a slow read for me. There were times that I would have to reread portions to really understand what was being described. Maybe that is because I am not familiar with cycling or the Tour de France. I was somewhat reluctant about starting another book on a sport that I was unfamiliar with, but I decided to give it a try. 

I was going to be on a long flight to Amsterdam, so it would either be a good read or it would put me to sleep.  Once I picked up the book, it was hard to put it back down again. It is a type of book that will pick back up and read again in the near future. I liked Derek's reflections at the end of each chapter. He provided insight to the reader not just on the chapter, but to life in general. I learned a great deal about the world of speed skating and it's evolution, without being bored. As a reader, I was able to better understand how he was feeling and growing as a person through the stages of his life. You can feel his passion for skating. There were times that I could almost hear the frustration or disappointment, and yet he was so inspiring how he was able to overcome the obstacles and achieve success. 

I remember watching his race that day in Salt Lake. Even through my TV, I could feel the excitement as he made each lap. He looked so calm and confident. This was his day, his race. He brought me to tears. 

I did want to mention one other person from the book that deserves recognition, his wife Tiffany. She is a true inspiration. She stood beside Derek through, what must have been extremely difficult times, both
financially and emotionally, so that he could follow his dreams. It takes an enormously strong person to make sacrifices for another's dream. It touched my heart to hear the gratitude in his writing. 

I hope to see him skate in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. I wish them both success and happiness in their life and their daughter's. 

Susan
Research Triangle Park, NC

Hi Derek,

It was great meeting you at the ball game in San Bernadino last Thursday night.   I commend you again on the superb job you did on “Reflections in the Ice.”  I remember thinking as I was driving home about the comparison I made with Lance Armstrong’s book “It’s Not About the Bike.”  Lance has a more staggering story—his victory over cancer—but in my opinion you did a superior job not only in unfolding the story, but delivering positive, meaningful messages and life lessons that are directly applicable for almost everyone!  I can imagine you and your team editing and revising and rewriting each part of the book over and over, and could see the same painstaking care, commitment, and relentless pursuit of excellence that you employ in polishing those blades to get them to feel just right.  I also thank you for your commitment to giving back to the community.

 I wish you all the best and beyond in your quest for 2006. 

All the best,

Scott

Derek,

Hope this message gets to you.  Really enjoyed the book.  Great insight!   At a time when I question  how much longer I want to continue coaching your book has motivated me  to keep going.  I have strongly recommended it to everyone I know and will use it as a reference when myself or my skaters hit those  tough times.  Thanks for taking the time to give back and for  remembering where you came from. 

 Robb Dunn

Dear Derek,

I just finished reading your new book.  A masterpiece!  I was inspired and touched deeply by your accounts of the road to Olympic success.  More importantly, the very human story of the journey, and especially the strong relationships built along the way, give testimony that life is not only about the goal, but much more about the struggles and joys along the way. 

Congratulations!  I hope it is a resounding success.  I will surely recommend it to my students.

God bless!

Mike
Bro. Michael John McAward
Chaminade High School, Long Island, NY

WOW  is the best way I can describe Derek's book.  I finished reading it a week ago today -- once I got started, I could not stop and I read it all through the hectic Christmas week.   The book is now in the hands of people in the Cayman Islands, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sacramento, CA, in addition to many others here in the San Bernardino area.  Everyone who is reading it loves it and 
in my family, family members are racing to see who gets their hands on the book first.

Congratulations to you on such a great autobiography -- well written, great insights and motivational thoughts.  My sister-in-law, even said she is going to use it as a teaching tool in her Bible study class.  Isn't that a compliment?!

My congratulations on what could well be a best seller!

Rachel
San Bernardino, CA
 


I picked up a copy of Derek's book in Milwaukee on Monday and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it.  It's been a long time since I've read a book so entertaining and well written.  I literally could not put it down, staying up til 2:00 AM last night to finish it.  Thank you for all the work that was put into this book and for being willing to share your story with the world. 

Dyan
www.SkinsuitsNSkates.com

 

It's a wonderful book that I intend to have my children read when I'm finished with it.  It's an inspirational book that I'm sure everyone can benefit from. 

Davis
San Bernardino, CA