Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marathon Day

Marathon winner Stephen Kiprotich in the middle, flanked by two Kenyans
As the Olympic Games end today in London, traditionally the last day is also Marathon Day when the men’s marathon was run through the historic and picturesque streets of London. The winner was Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, followed by two Kenyans. It was impressive to see the winner kneeling down on the finish line, kissing his country’s flag and then blessing himself. 

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia with picture of the Blessed Mother
Two days earlier, another female athlete, Meseret Defar of Ethiopia became ecstatic after winning the 5000 meters, and also knelt down and took a picture of the Blessed Mother from under her shirt, kissing it and showing it to the camera. There was also the impressive story of David Rudisha, who won the 800 meters in a world record time, after coming from the Masai tribe in Kenya, and not having any facilities to train in. However he was noticed by a lay missionary Patrician brother Colm O’Connell who trained him on dirt roads, creating a sort of a track after removing stones and covering holes on the road. David was also encouraged to start running after seeing his father’s silver medal form the 1968 Olympics which he had won in a relay race for Kenya. There are many other touching stories that connect faith and sport. The spirit of the Olympics reigns supreme, higher, stronger and faster.

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