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Really Winning

Every year thousands of young athletes from all over the world gather for the Special Olympics. The fanfare, the celebrities, the music, the excitement are nearly as grand as the regular Olympics. These athletes know what it means to give their best. They have trained for months and for years and want to win.

Several years ago, five handicapped finalists gathered at the starting line. Their hearts were pounding. Each wanted to win. The starter's gun discharged and the athletes exploded from their crouched positions and began running with all their heart. The crowd was on its feet shouting and cheering.

Suddenly one of the runners stumbled and fell flat on his face. He struggled but couldn't seem to get up. A moan and then a hush fell over the stadium. In the next moment, another child stopped running and reached down and helped the fallen child back up. The two of them finished the race together.

Michael Broome
Retold by Alice Gray in Stories for the Heart, (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1996) p. 26.