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More Than Gold

1 Chorinthians 9: 23-27

The Olympic Games was originated from the ancient Greek as early as 10th to 9th century BC. Initially it was held as a religious festival in honor of Zeus, the father of the Greek gods and goddesses. The festival and the games were held in Olympia, a rural sanctuary site in the western Peloponnesos. From 776 bC, the Games were held in Olympia every four years for almost 12 centuries. Additional athletic events were gradually added until, by the 5th century BC, the religious festival consisted of a five-day program.

How we got from the Ancient Olympics to the Modern Games? Although the ancient Games were staged in Olympia, from 776 bC through 393 aD, it took 1503 years for the Olympics to return. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The man responsible for its rebirth was a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who presented the idea in 1894. His original thought was to unveil the modern Games in 1900 in his native Paris, but delegates from 34 countries were so enthralled with the concept that they convinced him to move the Games up to 1896 and have Athens serve as the first host. The first Modern Winter Olympic games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. There was no winter Olympic festival in ancient times. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, is being held in Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Olympic games is the most prestigious games in the world. The best sport persons from all around the globe gathered at one place to compete and claim the title of 'the best of the best'. It makes competing in Olympic becomes every sport person's dream in their career. Winning in Olympic is just another dream.

Sunday 17 August 2008 (I was on stand by duty); Earlier of the day I was watching the final man 100m race which saw Usain Bolt of Jamaica crowned as the fastest man on earth, broke his own world record to a shorter sprint title in 9.69s. Later in the evening I was watching the final man badminton match between Lin Dan (the bad boy in badminton as he is known) of China and Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. The result, as we all have known and have seen, 'super' Dan trashed the only Malaysian bid for Olympic gold Medal, Lee Chong Wei in straight set 21-12, 21-8; in a very dramatic one sided match.

As we look back at it, we especially the fan of this sport might be 'super' disappointed with the result. "The Malaysian didn't give a good fight to the Chinese. Where have gone all his superb skills and courage?" As some said.

I do not know what all of you are thinking, but to me personally, though the result did not favor us, but I'm still proud of Lee's achievement as he had given his best effort, made his way up to the final, except not winning the gold. We must admit that being in the final at the biggest occasion against the home hero of a most populated country is not easy for anybody. Lin Dan at the other hand benefited much all his advantages of being the world ranked number one and playing in front of wild home crowd. But of course that's not the main issue or excuse for his lost. Lee had admitted that Lin Dan simply playing much better than him. He (Lin Dan) obviously appears much more fitter, both physically and mentally. Plus with a better skills as well.

But wait, what wrong with the number two anyway? After all Lee already made another history by being the first Malaysian to reach the final of badminton single event in Olympic, and brought back the only Malaysia's Olympic medal in this outing, so far. He is still among the best badminton players. Just the second best in the world. Amazing Lee Chong Wei.

Brethren, all these people; Usain Bolt, Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and many other Olympian, before they compete they went into strict training. For they know that without training and strict discipline they wouldn't be what they are now. They do it to get a prize; a prize that will not last. We too as the bible says should do in such a way to get a prize; a prize that will last forever.

In our faith race, it doesn't matter much on who will reach the finish line first or last, but rather a question of whether we can finish the race or not. A question of faithfulness, even to the point of death. Can we finally say as Paul said "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing". 2 Timothy 4: 7-8
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