“The race is not to the swift…”

Recalling Snow Days and the 1980 Winter Olympics

When I was an 11-yearold sixthgrade student in Feb. 1980, my mom sent me to school even though a few inches of snow had precipitated a twohour delay. My grade school was just over the hill from our house so it wasn’t a long walk. When I arrived at my classroom, I was there alone for the first hour until one of my fellow students showed up.

We then spent the better part of the second hour reciting the names of the United States men’s Olympic hockey team, who were competing in Lake Placid, N.Y. Some people may recognize center Mike Eruzione or perhaps even goaltender Jim Craig, but I had committed to memory names such as Jack O’Callahan, Steve Christoff and Buzz Schneider.

Of course, this was the “Miracle on Ice” team that won the gold medal after defeating the Soviet Union, 4-3, in the semifinal and Finland, 4-2, in the final. These thoughts came to mind as the 2018 Winter Olympics are scheduled for Feb. 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This year’s Olympics can be looked at as a return to that non-professional hockey team of 1980, as the National Hockey League announced last year it would not interrupt its schedule to allow professionals such as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to make the trek to South Korea.

World records will be broken and men and women athletes at their peak physical condition will compete in skiing, figure skating and — my personalfavorite — bobsleigh, to take home their very own gold, silver and bronze medals. I always have enjoyed watching the Wnter Olympics more than its summer counterpart. There’s just something about hearing Leo Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” blare through television speakers accompanied by shots of snow-capped mountain ranges around the world.

There are many Bible verses which specifically use the word “race,” the object of many Olympic events, whether it be versus another competitor or the clock. I found one, Ecclesiastes 9:11, which states: “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong…” This race, of course, refers to
the “race of faith.” It’s a nice verse to remember as we each continue to compete in our own life’s journey.