A Race Well Run: Olympian Eric Liddell

Photos from Wikipedia

As the 2012 Summer Olympics in London approach (July 27 to August 12), I was reminded by an article in Decision magazine of another Summer Olympics that took place years ago. It was 1924 when Eric Liddell, one of the most well-known athletes in Scotland, competed in the Olympics that summer in Paris. On the team representing Great Britan (which, at the time, included Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales), Liddell originally intended to run the 100-meter race, which was his best event. But the race was to be held on Sunday, and Liddell quietly withdrew from the race, not wanting to run, he said, on the day God had set apart for worship and rest. Instead, he trained for the 200- and 400-meter events, even though he was not favored to win either race. He was criticized by many for choosing not to run in the Sunday event, but stuck to a commitment he made years ago, to honor the Lord’s day as a day of rest from work and sports.

Liddell won a bronze for the 200-meter race. Just before his final race, the 400-meter event, one of Liddell’s trainers handed him a note that said, “In the old book [the Bible] it says, ‘He that honors Me I will honor.’ Wishing you the best of success always.”

Eric Liddell won the gold medal for that 400-meter race. And the criticism turned into cheers of admiration.

Liddell’s friend Sir Arthur Marshall wrote of the 400-meter race, “…the 400 metres in some way provided the greatest thrill…with the world record being broken by Eric Liddell three times in two days. It was thought that Liddell had some chance of winning, but nobody thought Liddell capable of the amazing performance he achieved in the final…This was probably the greatest achievement of the VIIIth Olympiad, and superlatives were showered on Liddell by the press of the entire world.”

After the Olympics and graduation from one of the UK’s top universities, the University of Edinburgh, Liddell was a missionary in China until his death in 1943 at a prison camp just months before World War II ended. He left behind a wife and three daughters. He also left behind a rich legacy of faith that inspired many.

Liddell’s story was told in the 1981 Academy Award-winning British film Chariots of Fire (click here to see the movie trailer).

Chariots of Fire is an excellent movie. Have you seen it?  The film was digitally remastered for its’ recent re-release July 13 in the UK, an official part of the London 2012 Olympic Festival celebrations. I’ve read that a Blu-ray edition of the film was released July 10 in North America…I’m planning on getting it!

Sources: Wikipedia, Decision Magazine,  The Eric Liddell Centre, Trailblazer Books.
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Caine’s Arcade

What an inspiring little film! I’m sure you’ve heard of it–it’s had over 2 million views in a very short time. Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick made this film in East L.A. and posted it on Vimeo this past Monday. Caine’s Arcade is about a very creative and imaginative 9-year old boy who built his own cardboard arcade inside his dad’s  auto parts store…and got the surprise of his life one special day! To see Nirvan Mullick’s Vimeo posting, click here. It will definitely make you smile…and maybe even tear up a little! :) I just love great stories like this!

A Trip to Altanta

Recently I went to Atlanta with some co-workers to attend the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) and the Atlanta Gift Show. Our hotel was right by the Centennial Olympic Park (photo above by David Henry). While at ICRS, in addition to seeing new books, card, and stationery products, we had the opportunity to view a special preview showing of a new film that will be coming out in September called CourageousIt’s a touching, inspiring movie that will make you laugh and cry, so bring tissues! You can learn more about it and watch a trailer of it by clicking here. The group Casting Crowns has made a music video for the movie, too–click here to see that.

The gift show was at AmericasMart® in the huge Atlanta Convention Center, with floors and floors of the newest items in stationery, giftware, home accessories and furnishings, jewelry and fashion…you name it! One of my favorite showrooms was Natural Life. I loved the colorful, unique, handmade look of their products.

Another showroom I liked was Gabby Home. They had great home accessories and furniture with a rustic and weathered look. It made me want to do some redecorating! :)

Of course, we had to eat, too, and found some great places in downtown Atlanta. We had some delicious breakfasts at the Landmark Diner and enjoyed several lunch and dinners at the Cafe Intermezzo. This cafe has so much to choose from, and if you’re wanting dessert they offer over 100 different tortes, tarts, cakes, pies, and cheesecakes!

It was fun seeing everything in Atlanta. Now I have to do some not-so-fun stuff like laundry…

There’s A Place For Us

I recently saw the newest Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and thought it was great! I actually sniffled at the end when…well, I won’t tell you in case you haven’t seen the movie yet! :)  I love the song that Carrie Underwood co-wrote (with David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey) and recorded for the movie, There’s a Place For Us…it plays at the end when the credits are rolling. You can click here to listen to it. Hope you get a chance to see the movie!

…A world where you and I belong

Where faith and love will keep us strong

Exactly who we are is just enough

There’s a place for us.