There are just a few weeks away from the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil. Under the current global scenario and events, there is so much happening worldwide which may create seemingly unfathomable dark clouds over the many intangible aspects which provide an inspiring Vision, Mission and Purpose. In addition, at times like this, it is also very important to focus on the inherent positive traits, qualities and attributes which enable true goodwill, sustainability, social responsibility, and empowerment.
The sport of "Athletics" or Track & Field is also undergoing so many controversies, debates, battles, and issues. This core sport, which is one of the premier events of the Olympic Games, will once again be in the spotlight featuring athletes from various corners of the globe and walks-of-life on their journey to athletic glory. Some may break world records, some set Olympic records, some set national records, some with personal records, some with the personal satisfaction of just crossing the finish line, and, others with just the thrill of taking part in the competition.
At moments like this, there are many names, but, a name keeps standing-out over and over again from the pages of history; “Eric Liddell”. Historically, through various forms of modern media, it is well documented who Eric Liddell was, his accomplishments at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and dedicated, selfless service and personal sacrifice in China.
Eric Liddell may not have had the “classic” running form of a world-class sprinter in the 100 Meters, 200 Meters or 400 Meters. In fact, it is said that he did not have the prerequisite “GAIT”, nor the biomechanics, nor the bioenergetics, nor the kinesiology of the elite world-record setting Olympic champions of his time. His training, for achieving world-class status, may not have been at par with internationally well accepted sports science, fitness and training standards.
There must be something which made Eric Liddell think, speak and do what he did. For his inspired deeds and accomplishments are indeed not paltry nor meager. In the classrooms he taught or on the stadium tracks he ran or elsewhere in his life, Eric Liddell was “A Role Model”. Speaking a kind word of hope or a kind gesture to a complete stranger or shaking the hand of his rivals and competitors in the locker room or at the starting line prior to each race; this was Eric Liddell.
Looking back, Eric Liddell was not just a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a teacher, a friend, nor a world-class athlete; for all these roles, duties and responsibilities were just an extension of the true innate personality of Eric Liddell. It has been said that the power of the human spirit emanates from deep within each and every one of us; which truly makes us “human”. Also, it has been said that it is not always what we are outside, but, what we really are inside for all is nothing, but, a reflection, reaction, resound of our inner being. So many more books, films, and other forms of media content may come in the future, but, the essence of Eric Liddell is truly what he was inside.