Monday, August 11, 2008

Pride Goeth Before a Fall - Or a Swimming Relay!

I just watched Michael Phelps win his third gold medal at the Olympics which ties the record of nine career gold medals. (Keep reading if you you think I put the wrong picture here!) Still, tonight's race was nothing compared to Sunday's relay race between the American and French teams, in which Phelps won his second gold medal. To make a long story short, here are the highlights:
  • The French swimmer, Alain Bernard had said bluntly a few days before concerning the American Team, "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for."
  • Phelps swam the first of the four legs of the relay, and 32 year old (the "old" man of the team), Jason Lezak (the guy in the picture!), swam the last leg against the oh-so-pride-filled Bernard, who was well ahead of him when he entered the water.
  • The commentators "hoped" the Americans could pull out a silver, since Bernard is the world's fastest swimmer in the world for the 100 meters (make that "was" the fastest!).
  • But in the last 50 meters, Lezak started gaining on Bernard, and with everyone cheering, Lezak passes him to touch the finish line 8/100th's of a second before Bernard, who would realize in a little more than a second when he saw the results, and heard the cheers, that his "smashing" comment may not have been such a great idea.
The great thing about this gold medal for Phelps is that it drives home the point that no man (no matter how good a swimmer he is!) is an island. Phelps would be quick to add that he couldn't have gotten to where he is without his mom, coach, family, team-mates, etc.

Jason Lesak must be a pretty great guy because in an interview after the race, he said that winning that gold medal was the "second" greatest day of his life, next to his wedding day!

Finally, the verse this event reminds me of is this, from one of my favorite Old Testament prophets, Jeremiah (the single one!): This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 9:23,24

So before you start bragging about "smashing" the competition, better think about it. You might save yourself some embarrassment later. Don't believe me? Then ask Alain Bernard! Oh, before I forget, CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL PHELPS, CULLEN JONES, GARRETT WEBER-GALE, and JASON LEZAK!!

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