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What is your favorite/most soul-stirring Olympic story that . . .

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tells the quintessential Olympic-spirit story. . . and why? 

I have two -- and strangely enough, one Summer and one Winter.  (I didn't intend it to be that way; it just turned out as I type these words).  They are:

1.  The story of John Stephen Akwari of Tanzania @ the Mexico 1968 Games.  When he finally crossed the marathon finish line, he uttered the famous line:  My country didn't send me 5,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."   That for me tells the whole story of what working to qualify for and compete in an Olympic Games, is all about.


2.  The Eugenio Monti story -- even more selfless than Akwari's story.  

And once you have read it and fully parsed out in your soul how unselfish this Italian bobsledder was, compare that to the Me-Me-Me showboating and grandstanding of the stomach-churning likes of Usain Bolt and Cassius Clay; AND the shameless, bold-faced cheating the Russians have carried on over the years and culminating at their unbelievable, wholesale cheating @ their own Sochi-hosted Games, is just beyond words.  


And the whole tragic closing note of Monti's story is that he shot himself due to the Parkinson's disease in December 2003.  If such a selfless man such as Monti was motivated to take his own life due to this affliction, I probably cannot even in the least bit comprehend how terrible it is to have this disease.  (I guess I should be more understanding of Ali; but he is such a loud-mouth that I am not.)  <_< 

Anyway, to me, it's the selfless comportment of these individuals which personifies and justifies why the Olympics should go on.  Out of the thousands of craven stories for personal,"I-absorb-all-the-sun's-rays" stories of glory, if you only have 2 like the above to come through the darkness, then it's probably worth it.  

What are you favorite Olympic-spirit stories? 

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Derek Redmond--No Olympic athlete gets to where they are without the support of family, friends, and (rule-abiding) coaches, The sight of him and his father completing that race together still brings tears to my eyes after a quarter century.

Lawrence Lemieux and his act of heroism at Seoul 1988 when he interrupted his own race to save the lives of Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw, who capsized in another event being held concurrently.  

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino at Rio last year, the true Olympic spirit personified.

The friendship that developed between Jesse Owens and Luz Long.

Examples such as Bjorn Dahlie (1998) and Dario Cologna (2014), where the winners stayed at the finish line and awaited last place finishers Philip Boit and Roberto Carcelen. respectively.

I could go on and on. Baron's right-these are the reasons the Games need to go on. There is so much superficiality involving the Games that we have lost sight of the humanity that lies behind them.

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