Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

A Special Olympics and the Special Olympics

January 7, 2012

Derek Redmond's dad, Jim, helps his son cross the finish line

Derek Redmond’s dad, Jim, helps his son cross the finish line

There’s something about a race that brings out the heroic spirit. In the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, British runner Derek Redmond tore his hamstring in the 400 meter semi-final but refused to quit. He got up and hobbled along as best he could until his father ran onto the track and helped him cross the finish line as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. I couldn’t help but think of Iron Woman Julie Moss as I watched this video.

Twenty years after Jim Redmond carried his (more…)

Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching

September 15, 2008
Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell

In an essay in USA Weekend, Virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell recalled the time he entered his first violin competition:

I was 11 years old and nervous. I began with the worst blunder of my life, my fingers slipping off the violin entirely. My heart sank as a I realized that I could never win over the judges. So I gave up trying to be perfect, which, amazingly, resulted in a wonderful sense of freedom. I gave the best performance of my life, taking home a prize.

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes

Bell’s story called to mind the goose bump-generating performance of 16-year-old Sarah Hughes, who vaulted from fourth place to a gold medal in figure skating in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Thinking she was out of contention, a pressure-free Hughes skated with joyous abandon. Her flawless, free-spirited performance was one of the most technically demanding routines in the history of Olympic women’s competition. She pulled off seven triple jumps—five in combination—then nailed a huge triple toe loop-triple loop combo. It was a performance for the ages, and it was only possible because Hughes skated in a spirit of celebration rather than competition. Afterwards, she told the press:

I skated for pure enjoyment. That’s how I wanted my Olympic moment to be.