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Sunday, February 23, 2014


At ten minutes to seven on a dark, cool evening in Mexico City in 1968, John Stephen Arkwari of Tanzania painfully hobbled into the Olympic Stadium – the last to finish the marathon.

The winner had already been crowned, and the victory ceremony was long finished. So the stadium was almost empty as Arkwari, alone, his leg bloodied and bandaged struggled to the finish line. The respected documentary maker, Bud Greenspan, watched from a distance. Then intrigued, Bud walked over to Arkwari and asked why he had continued the grueling struggle to the finish line.

The young man from Tanzania answered softly, “My country did not send me nine thousand miles to start the race. They sent me nine thousand miles to finish the race.”

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