A run for life leads to race for gold

Lopez Lomong: World Vision

Running for his life, three days and nights, going without water for days, Lopez Lomong sought freedom from prison and its inevitable consequence of becoming a child soldier.

He was only six when soldiers abducted him and other children from an outdoor church service, threw them into backs of trucks and drove to a prison camp where the children would be trained as soldiers.

In ChristianityToday.com, Cornelia Becker Seigneur recounted the story of Lomong’s escape with three older boys as detailed in his recently released autobiography, Running for My Life.

They were three older boys, 14 or 15, who knew my family from our village, and they said to me, ‘You’re going to see your mother.’

On a moonless night the four youths slipped out of the room, crawled on their bellies, and slid through a hole in a fence.

The savannas are very tough. We ran for three days — my legs and feet were bleeding. When I wanted to stop, my angels carried me.

Lomong didn’t end up in his home village to see his mother, but instead the four boys hobbled into the United Nations–sponsored Kakuma refugee camp near Nairobi, Kenya, where Lomong remained for 10 years. His three friends vanished after two weeks.

I have been back and keep asking for them. They brought me from harsh wilderness to the Promised Land, then disappeared like angels, Lomong told “Christianity Today.” They are my inspiration for what I am doing now. God was with them to help me.”

Lomong now runs for the United States in track and field. Listen to his amazing story and watch him in the 5,000 meter-run, August 8, during the 2012 London Olympics.

By the way, Lopez is a nickname. His parents named him Lopepe, which in their native language means “fast.”

Olympian Alex Despatie: “Thanks to you, Mom.”

Alexandre Despatie, Beijing 2008.

Her son’s first contact with water was at three years old, said Christiane Despatie. At age two or three, Alexandre Despatie wanted to dive. It wasn’t long after that, his mother said, he wanted to play “Olympics.”

At age 13, the Laval, Quebec, diver became a media sensation winning a gold medal in the 1998 Commonwealth Games earning him a place in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records.

As a diver his movements are controlled, precise and fine tuned. Yet, in 2012, what is most noteworthy is his resilience and resolve to come back and win after suffering significant injuries.

“He always bounces back,” Christiane Despatie said.

Listen to her story and you will understand why Alex Despatie proclaims: “Thanks to you, mom.”