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With all the pomp and prestige that the Chinese government went to in order to put their best foot forward, there was one person who they honored who stood out. He is now in his seventies, but China brought him to Bejing as an honored guest. Why? The odd thing is that John Steven Akwhari is not famous for being a champion. In fact, he was the last place finisher of the 1968 Olympic Marathon in Mexico.

Why would China who put all of their focus on winning as many gold medals as possible focus on a 70-year-old last place finisher? Because John Akwhari understood why he was in the Olympics like no one else. He represented Tanzania in the Marathon that year. Early on in the journey, John stumbled, fell and injured his knee and ankle. He was immediately out of medal contention. By 7 p.m. an Ethiopian runner won the race. John stumbled into the stadium with a bloody leg and injured ankle over an hour later, which is a lifetime in an Olympic competition. Yet, thousands of fans remained in the stadium awaiting his arrival. And as he limped and hobbled, the people stood and cheered him on. Even though he was not a medal contender, he was a true competitor.

Reporters could not understand why he continued to run despite his injuries and the plain and simple fact that the he was out of the race early on. He somberly explained to reporters what they had missed about the Olympics. It was not simply about him and his achievement or failure. He...

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