True Grit!

Robert Strand


The "Munich Olympics" is most remembered by the record setting feat of Mark Spitz who won a record setting eight gold medals. However, there is another exciting story about Steve Genter of Lakewood, California. He is a competitive swimmer but his story was mostly lost or overlooked.

Less than a week before the competition was to begin, while he was in training, one of his lungs collapsed! The doctors made an incision, repaired the lung, put the stitches in and taped him up. The consensus was "Too bad, this poor kid is out of the competition."

Fighting Through the Pain

However, at the beginning of his event, Steve Genter, when his name was called stepped to the starting block. Now, understand, you cannot compete with any kind of drugs in your system and even no pain killers. This was the 200 meter free-style event. The gun sounded and off he went with the rest of the field. At the 100 meter turn, in a dead heat with Mark Spitz, he hit the wall and made his turn...tearing the stitches loose! This threw his timing off but he continued swimming and finished second. Spitz had beat him by less than 1/10 of a second winning a silver medal.

Genter continued to compete and went on to win a gold medal, the silver medal I already mentioned and a bronze medal. Success can come out of what looks like a defeat or a set-back.

What happens to you when things go wrong? Are you ready to quit or compete through the pain? Do you surrender to circumstances or do you never give up? If you have made up your mind you can do're right! If you think it can't be're also absolutely right!

 "One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press toward the goal..." (Philippians 3:13b-14).