Wayde kneeling
Wayde Van Niekerk kneeling after his Olympic victory.

Wayde van Niekerk from South Africa won the 400-meter Olympic gold with a new world record in 43.03 this morning (At least it was morning here in India). I am so proud to be a South African today. It is that fantastic fan feeling, like walking on a cloud. He did it! We did it!

And he does what every sportsman should do: he gives the honor to God. (His twitter post)

I am also happy about being in India even though I sometimes have to think about that a bit more… Today is an important day for India. Happy Independence Day to all my friends here! I had a run with the Chandigarh Runners today. See if you can find me in this picture.

Chandigarh runners independance dayAmong this crowd is also a wonderful runner, Amit Chaudhary, who did 188 k in 24 hours to break the course record in Bengaluru last week. Great run, Amit!

Interestingly the other new world record so far on the Rio athletics track came from the Ethiopian Ayana Almaz in the 10000 meter for women. She did an almost unthinkable 29:17 to take 14 seconds off the 23-year-old record. It seems like everyone immediately thought she must be on drugs. Her response: “I praise the lord, the lord gives me everything. My doping is my training, my doping is Jesus — otherwise I’m crystal clear.” I suppose we will see about that. But that the Lord gives everything and has to be praised is certainly true.

You may be thinking that I am not giving due credit to the athletes themselves. I think I can appreciate some of the hard work that must have gone into these outstanding performances. For us average folks it also takes a lot of effort to be able to complete a 10k or a marathon.

But it is important that we realize that our ability to run is a gift from God. All our talents are given by God. Even the determination and the discipline that we have is given by Him. There are many exceptionally talented people who never reach their full potential.

So today I am walking on this cloud. Proud of Wayde and being South African and happy to have the Giver of power and talents as my friend.

Keep running

Stephan

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