Years ago in the Olympic Games, there was a woman swimmer who gained a gold medal. Afterwards, she was interviewed by a reporter. The swimmer shared about her journey in the sport of swimming and how, as a youngster, some people teased and taunted her when she trained. Those taunts didn’t stop the swimmer’s forward progress. She steadfastly persisted in her practices. I imagine that, at the time, she didn’t know that her persistence would lead to a gold medal in the Olympics.
The reporter asked what she had to say to those who, years earlier, had teased and taunted her. I will never forget the composure and class that she exhibited in her response. She didn’t display even a hint of arrogance. Calmly and simply, her answer was, “Thank you.” I so love how that was handled. Yes!
In the 1992 Olympic Games, runner, Derek Redmond, tore his hamstring, which took him out of the competition for a medal opportunity. Derek, though, made a choice to finish the race, regardless. He hobbled with grit and determination. His father, Jim, leaped from the seating area and went to help his son. Olympic officials attempted to stop Jim, but he wasn’t having it. The officials backed off. Derek leaned on his father for support and together they crossed the finish line. The crowd stood and rendered a rousing standing ovation.
That incident will be in Olympic history as one of the most inspiring experiences ever witnessed in the annals of sports. Derek became the subject of the International Olympic Committee’s “Celebrate Humanity” video. Also, a Visa ad was done, and a Nike commercial aired heralding the determination of Derek and the inspiration that that incident garnered. In 2012, Jim had the honor of being an Olympic torch bearer for the London games. Wow, unexpected advantages sure were on the scene with Derek’s story.
We’ve all had unexpected advantages in our lives. How grateful we are that God is super good in EVERYTHING.