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The Olympic Spirit: The Power of Perseverance

Joined: 2/28/2014
Posts: 2
I am a runner. I train for four to five mile races in the park a block away from where I live every chance I get. Every four years of my life since I was young, I have spent countless hours in front of the television, with my legs criss-crossed and my mouth hanging wide open, watching the Olympic games. I always took pleasure and pride whenever a runner finished, and screamed in frustration whenever an athletic did not achieve their goal.

When I started freshman year in high school, I joined my school's cross country team. I wanted to beat my personal record on the two and a half mile course I most despised. I was inspired to look at videos of Olympian runners to see their techniques and form. While I was going through several YouTube videos, one in particular caught my eye. I still remember watching “Derek Redmond's Incredible Olympic Story”. In a 400 meter race around the track in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, a British athlete, Derek Redmond, snapped his hamstring mid-race. Instead of stopping and giving up, he clenched his teeth, and limped to the finish. Before that moment, I naively thought the Olympics were mostly about winning medals. After, I realized that the Olympics are about perseverance and pursuing your dreams.

A month later, I was at the first race of the autumn season. I remember the leaves had not yet changed into their warm autumn hues. It was pleasantly balmy. I was extremely nervous to prove that I could beat my record. I knew even at the starting line that I should have stretched more, drunk more water and eaten more before the race started. When I hit the rolling hills with their dusty and lonely paths that looped around the trees on the course, I felt quite content. I was at a good pace, and had a lot of energy left. When I emerged from the top of the last hill with the finish line in sight I began to run faster. I was so excited and spent so much attention on accelerating that I did not pay attention to my footwork. I felt a stabbing jolt of pain as I rolled my ankle on a rock on the final stretch. I started to slow down. The pain was hard to ignore. I cannot remember seeing the finish line. My tears were pouring too heavily from my eyes. But nonetheless, I replayed the video of Derek Redmond, limping to the Olympic finish line, over and over in my mind while I pushed myself to the end. Later, I found out that I had torn many, many ligaments.

Although I did not accomplish what I wanted to that day, I have since recovered and am training once more. Soon I will have a race again. It may not be the race where I will finally achieve a better time, but I know that I will keep trying, just like Derek Redmond.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Olympic Spirit essay being chosen as 1 of the essays in the running for 1st place in this month’s writing competition. This is a huge accomplishment, so please feel free to share your “runner up” status with the world.

We are in the process of selecting our top three winners, and naming the 1st place winner from the narrowed field. If you are selected as the winner of this month’s competition, we will contact you directly via the email you used for registration. We will be contacting the winner by Friday, March 14th.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time”

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:11:59 PM
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Comment by toucan

Joined: 2/28/2014
Posts: 2
thank you!
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 8:16:12 PM
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