Sunday, 5 August 2012

The man who came fourth

Last night, I watched a slight man in a team GB t-shirt reach a finish line before any of the 29 men that had started with him less than half an hour beforehand.

It was beyond exciting to see Mo Farrah win the Gold Medal in the 10 000m in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

I liked it even more when he said after the race: “It’s never going to get any better than this. It’s something I’ve worked so hard for, training 120 miles a week, week in and week out. Long distance is a lonely event. I just got to enjoy this moment I guess”

Apparently two best friends came first and second and two brothers came third and fourth.  
Until yesterday, I didn’t know much more than that about athletics, so I didn’t really notice the guy that came fourth.

This morning I was talking to Anton, who knows a lot about athletics. He told me what he knew about the guy who came fourth.  The rest I found on YouTube.

Kenenisa Bekele is an athlete from Ethiopia who knows a lot of things. He knows what it’s like to reach a finish line before anyone else. He knows what it’s like to win two gold Olympic medals for the 10 000 meters and one gold medal for the 5000 meters. He knows what it’s like to set and hold the world record for both events.

He knows what it’s like to fall in love and have your fiancĂ© die in your arms on a training run.
He knows what it’s like to dominate a sport for over ten years and then rupture a muscle and see your career grind to a slow halt.

He’s a shy, quiet person with incredible focus and peace of mind. In an interview before the race he was asked if he was worried about Mo Farrah. He said:” I don’t worry. I enjoy it lots. I will try to do my best”

That’s all we can ever do.

Yesterday it was in the power of Mo Farrah to run 27 minutes and 30 seconds.
And it was in the power of Kenenisa Bekele to run 27 minutes and 32 seconds.

It’s just two seconds of a life of moments that are strung together like a rope. If you focus on the end of the rope, you’ll miss the point.

The only way to approach it is to keep your head down and do what is in your power to do. Don’t think about winning gold, about crossing finishing lines or about what it all means.

Our lives change all the time.

Only two things don't change: the connected, intact and infinite spirit inside us. And that moment by moment, we only have this time now.


  1. Great post. Next time you can blog about the man who came last at the Paralympics. It really is about the taking part. We win in different ways.

  2. Hi, sorry, just saw this now. I will blog about man who came last tomorrow x