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The Untold Olympic Stories

The Untold Olympic Stories

February 21, 2010, Broadcast #4197

From perfect 10s and world records to stunning athletic accomplishments and heartbreaking defeats, we marvel at the drama of the Olympic games. Something stirs in our souls as we witness the pageantry, the inspiring sportsmanship, and the extraordinary achievements on a world stage.
But it may be that the greatest story of the Olympics is the story that’s never fully told or appreciated. Behind every athlete is a saga of endless hours of dedicated effort, of perseverance in the face of setbacks and disappointments, of hope of victory that motivates each athlete to keep going, keep striving, keep trying despite the odds. For every round of applause, there are countless hours of quiet toil; for every ovation, there are untold days of devoted practice; for every moment of coaching, there are continual months, even years, of solitary, lonely work.

Such stories are not unique to Olympic athletes. Indeed, one powerful message of the Olympics is that excellence is all around us. Most of it is never acknowledged with gold medals and elaborate ceremonies–in fact, it may never be acknowledged at all. But the truth is that countless ordinary people everywhere deserve the gold of praise and thanks for living quiet lives of decency and honor and goodness.

They may not compete on the world’s stage, but they bless their loved ones and families; they may not perform in front of millions, but they reach out to help and improve the life of someone in need; they may not grab headlines, but they make meaningful contributions in their communities and nations. Long after the Olympic torch is dimmed, these stories of dedicated work, sacrifice, and excellence can be as inspiring as the feats that thrill us during the Olympics.

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