27 July 2012

Citius, Altius, Fortius...

With God, even more.

The Olympic theme was first used in 1924, the year of legendary athlete Eric Liddell:

  • born in China, son of missionaries
  • sent to school in Scotland, where he became a rugby champion
  • labeled the "Flying Scot" for his superior running times, Scotland's champion and their hope for the gold in the 1924 Olympics
  • signed up for his preferred dash, the 100 meters
  • withdrew from the 100-meters, to the dismay and criticism of the UK, because the race would be run on Sunday
  • signed up instead for, and trained for, the 400 meters
  • ran two previous races the day of the 400 meters, placing only modestly in them
  • ran the 400 meters in 47.6 seconds, breaking world records
  • after the Olympics, married a Canadian girl and fathered three daughters
  • returned to China to continue the missionary effort
  • remained in China after the Japanese invaded it during WWII; sent his family out of China for safety
  • died in a Japanese prison camp in China, serving his Chinese friends

He exemplified the add-on to the motto.

"They that honor me, I will honor." —1 Samuel 2:30

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." —Isaiah 40:31

"The secret of my success over the 400m is that I run the first 200m as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200m, with God's help I run faster."—Eric Liddell

This in tribute to my Olympic hero, who put God before country, fame, money, Olympic rings, reputation, or even his own life. And won.

Read more about the Flying Scotsman here and here.

Check out these items about Eric Liddell:

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