Crossing the Finish Line Together

six children run together holding hands wearing white tee shirts and blue shorts

Based on a true story that happened at the 1976 Special Olympics in Seattle, WA

Years ago, at the national Special Olympics, nine contestants lined up at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the sound of the starting gun, they each set off down the track toward the finish line—that is, except for the one child who stumbled soon after their start, tumbled to the ground, and began to cry.

Two of the other racers, hearing the cries of the one who fell, slowed down and looked back toward the start. Then without hesitation, they turned around. They began to run in the other direction, toward the injured child.

While the other contestants raced toward the finish line, the two who had turned around hurried over to help the child stand up. The child was hurt, but not too badly. All three of them then linked arms and, together, walked the 100-yard track. By the time the trio reached the finish line, everyone in the stands was waving and cheering. The fastest runner had already won the 100-yard dash. But the last three to cross the finish line had smiles on their faces.

What sports stars do you admire?

What are their attitudes and behaviors that inspire you?

What do they teach you about being a winner?

About the Author

Susan Dana Lawrence

Susan Dana Lawrence is the managing editor for the Faith Development Office of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is also a writer and educator who has worked in broadcast television, corporate communications, and print journalism. She belongs to Reform Jewish and Unitarian Universalist...

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