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A few years ago, at the 2002 Winter Olympics, there were five finalists for the Men’s 1000 Meter Speed Skating Race. During the final lap, the American and Chinese were out front with the Canadian and Korean skaters hot on their heels. Australia trailed behind obviously destined for last place. As they came around the last curve for the final straightaway stretch, everyone gathered around the television, on the edge of their seats cheering for America to pull out in front. The winner would receive the Olympic Gold medal.

Suddenly, the Chinese skater slightly bumped the American and sent both of them careening into the wall as they spun out of control. With no time or space to get out of their way, the tangled mess caused the Canadian and Korean skaters to also spin out of control and join them in a tangled heap of arms and legs. The Australian skater pushed by the heap and shouted to the top of his lungs as he crossed the finish line, "Gold! I won the Gold!"

This was so great! You see, he won the Gold for no other reason than he crossed the finish line! He finished the race! He was not the fastest. He did not set any records. He just simply didn’t quit or get tangled up in the mess around him.

Source: From a sermon by Nathan Johnson, "Putting Faith into Motion" 2/19/2009

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