Saturday, July 30, 2016

John Akhwari: Finish the Race

I was asked with just 24 turnaround time to sketch John Akhwari in the 1968 olympics.  He was pushed and fell while running the marathon, injuring his shoulder and dislocating his knee, and had to use part of his shirt to bandage up his knee.  He finished the race slowly, limping, and well over an hour after the winner.  Most of the spectators had left.  However, those who remained stood and applauded his finish in the dark.

When asked why he didn't just quit, he said, "My country did not send me 10,000 miles just to start the race.  They sent me to finish the race."

I love the research these paintings require me to do.  For this one, I had to watch old recordings of Akhwari and the news report. His story is so amazing and inspiring.  It helps me to try harder to go on in tough situations.

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