From Spring in Rio back to Spring in South Africa, proudly sporting 10 Olympic medals, one of which has been dedicated to all the girls of Limpopo, that they are encouraged to believe in and pursue their aspirations. Since 1896 the Olympic Games have been held in their present format, every four years. One of the conditions set down at that new beginning was that “….all countries of the world be brought together on the friendly fields of amateur sport, unmindful of national rivalries, jealousies and differences of all kinds...”. In Los Angeles 1932 the idea of the Olympic village was born, to nurture that world community impulse, a ‘global village’. What an inspiration for the girls of Limpopo, for youngsters all over the world.
1936, Berlin, the turn of a young athlete to compete, with the name of Louis Zamperini .The son of immigrants to the USA, he had little drive or motivation as a youngster, nor was he accepted at school as a foreigner. As he started getting into trouble his older brother took the law into his own hands and forced Louis to take up running, much against Louis’ will. But his brother pushed him so long that finally the self-confidence and determination were awoken in him and he went on to Olympic standard. If it hadn’t been for the war he might well have continued that path, but he enlisted and the outer events of his life changed dramatically. The near-fatal plane crash, six weeks with two fellow crew men adrift on a raft, the ensuing suffering in a prisoner of war camp – only sustainable for him through the inner forces which had been awoken in him: the will to survive and stand upright, against often very severe odds. Such story lines, of courage, overcoming, holding fast to one’s beliefs and one’s own truth, find a large audience, be it in book form, film or in personal accounts. Nor do the stories necessarily have to be fact; numerous examples continue to exist of fictional characters who also display these inner qualities and can inspire something in the audience and their approach to their own lives. In some they slumber, in others they are already awake, receiving strength and renewed encouragement from such examples; a Louis Zamperini, a TV police detective who doggedly pursues the truth, a comic strip hero or one of history’s countless freedom fighters. And Christ.