|It looks as if it is all about running faster, jumping higher and hitting harder. These sporting events collectively known as the Olympics catch the world's eye for a few weeks every four years, then fade until recycled.
In fact, behind all the performances are years and years of work. Persistence, determination, heart and character come into play with every athlete, whether a gold medallist or last place finisher.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, once said, "The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
The Olympics is about fighting the good fight. It is about the journey to competition as much as the competition itself. It is about odds within as much as overcoming odds without. Athletes train for a lifetime and often compete for mere seconds. If the result of the time spent literally competing were the soul measure of success, most athletes would be failures. But that is not the measure. The measure is in the heart and mind. It is in the willpower to continually strive. It was once said, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
These ideas are represented in the Olympic motto, which reads, "Ask not alone for Victory, ask for Courage. For if you can endure, you bring Honor to yourself. Even more you bring Honor to us all... "Florence Griffith-Joyner understood that motto. She once said, "You never fail until you stop trying." FloJo didn't stop until death took her prematurely.
In this section you will find the stories of many Olympians. The level of athletic success will vary from athlete to athlete, but each will have a compelling story of faith and endurance. Each will have cleared hurdles far higher than those jumped in track competition. Each will have eternal perspective on a short-lived race. They understand and accept what the Bible says:
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever."
Read about these athletes, and about how they have found success =
In competition, but more importantly how they have found something worth more than gold.