“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” -James 1:12
Dave Wottle is known as the gold medalist in the golf cap. He competed in one of the most famous races in modern Olympic history. During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. He represented the United States in the 800-meter run. He raced against a formidable group of athletes from around the world, including a tremendous athlete from the former Soviet Union.
What makes this 800 one of the great races of the Olympics is that Dave Wottle was dead last from almost the beginning of the race. At one point, early in the race Wottle found himself almost 15 meters behind the next to last runner. It seemed as though Dave Wottle was not going to challenge for a medal, and perhaps finish dead last.
To the amazement of everyone watching, Dave Wottle began to close in on the pack. One by one he began to pass runners. As they made the final turn Wottle began to make a push to catch the leaders. He seemed to have a burst of energy like no one else on the track. He quickly began moving up to the leaders and with an amazing and powerful stride he passed the Soviet, Yevgeny Arzhanov. Dave Wottle won the 1972, 800-meter gold medal by just an inch.
Wottle’s unlikely, come from behind victory is a tremendous reminder to us all that no matter where we find ourselves in life, we must not give up. We must press on. When we continue to work towards our goals, pray for God’s strength and never give up, we will find that we can accomplish great things.
Dave Wottle has told his wonderful story to groups all around the world. When asked if gets tired of talking about the race he says, “”Why would you ever get tired of talking about such a wonderful thing?” No matter how hard your battle is today, I want to encourage you to keep fighting, don’t give up. When you win the victory, it will be all the more wonderful.
Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor