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Wednesday, April 2, 2008


R. Eli Bremer, 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, Modern Pentathlete.

When I was four years old, I met an Olympian for the first time. He sat next to me on an airplane and talked to me for two hours about the Olympics and what it meant to him. That athlete planted a dream in me that changed my life.

Now, 25 years later, that dream is fulfilled. But only partially-I qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games by winning the gold medal in the modern pentathlon at last summer's Pan American Games. A lifetime of sacrifice, hard work and discipline paid off with the opportunity to compete in the greatest sporting event on the planet. Seeing the United States flag raised over all others and hearing my national anthem played was a moment I will never forget.

But there was another moment the day I made the Olympic Team that stands even stronger in my mind. Running is the final event in the pentathlon, and I am one of the fastest pentathlon runners in the world. Before running started, I already had a lead, giving me a virtual lock on the gold medal and a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team. As I bent down to tie my shoe at the starting line, it struck me that what was about to happen was not about me, it was about all the other people who got me there. From my wife to my parents, coaches and financial supporters, to the athlete I met as a four-year old, they all had selflessly paid a heavy price for me to be standing here. And as I stood alone on the starting line half a world away, I realized that they were all there with me, cheering for me and excited as I was for what was about to happen. It was one humbling and exhilarating experience of my life.

1 comment:

phoenix said...

That's awesome, and congratulations! One of the most profound things about life is that we can affect the lives of the people who surround us without even knowing it by teaching something or learning something and holding onto it, directly or indirectly and whether that person is someone who is close to us or a complete stranger. What we do in this lifetime can affect the lives of many.

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