The five Olympic rings represent the five continents and were designed in 1913, adopted in 1914 and debuted at the Games at Antwerp, 1920.


My Hometown Olympian

(The unforgettable Velma Dunn-Ploessel,

Silver Medalist, High Diving, Olympics 1936, Berlin)


She was a beautiful American,

At the angelic age of 17

She was drawing a picture of a seagull, a dolphin

She let her object transform into her young, pretty body

She let the air hold it

From the diving board very high above

She let go,

The free-spirited American girl was falling, falling…

The water was embracing her wholeness

The white bubbles became an opening flower

Swallowing her breaths

She surfaced from the water

The white bubbles tasted like champagne,

She won the Silver Medal for her beloved country, America…


Summer 2006, Downey, California,

A beautiful day at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Someone was looking for me at the clinic

She came with a copy of Downey Magazine,

Published by Long Beach’s Press Telegram

It was a special edition dedicated to Memorial Day

She was in a gesture of opening her arms

Her smiles radiated a special spirit

She showed me the picture on the cover

“Linh Duy Vo, an American Poet”

She kept smiling, “Is this you that I am looking for?”

I was speechless

She came to ask me to do a poetry reading

For her University Woman Association

I was so humbled by her aura of sincerity and warmth

I was honored to give a poetry reading at her group

We became friends

I called her “Auntie Velma,” my hero

We went out to Mimi’s Café

We enjoyed so much the memories

I retrieved the pictures I took with my cellular phone

When I was at her house viewing the mementos of her Olympics 1936…


A sad day came on May 8, 2007

She passed away,

An unforgettable American Olympian…


Linh Duy Vo

13 August 2008 ©


Thank You our America's 1936 Olympian . . .

Thank You our America's 1936 Olympian . . .


To America

Olympics 2008





© Copyright by Linh Duy Vo.  All rights reserved.