Listen to your Warm and Fuzzy here!
At 7p.m. on October 20,1968 a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium. It was cool and dark. The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations. More than an hour earlier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia-looking as fresh as when he started the race-crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26 miles, 385 yard event.
As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles. All eyes turned to the gate. A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium. His name was John Stephen Akhwari. He as the last man to finish the marathon. He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle. Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimaced with each hobbling step around the 400 meter track.
The spectators rose and applauded him. After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field. Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind: “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”
He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.”
Written by Wes Thompson
“Its not how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” ~ Rocky BalboaShare on Facebook