On the morning of September 24th, 1988, Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was in a storm with 15ft-25ft swells in a small Finn. He noticed an upturned hull of a Singaporean boat with one of its sailors being dragged away by the currents and a second holding on with a badly cut hand.
This was an Olympic race. Lemieux was in second place and knew he was on his way to winning the gold medal.
He also knew in these weather conditions, the search and rescue team would struggle to spot a sailor's head bobbing in the sea.
Lemieux had to choose between winning the Olympic gold or stopping to help save his competitors from drowning.
He pulled the sailors onto his boat and stayed with them until a South Korean Navy vessel arrived. And by the time he returned to the race, he lost 15 minutes of time and finished in 22nd place.
Have you ever had moments when you said to yourself something that started with, “someone should…”
Maybe in the context of...
Pick up the trash on this hiking trail...
Help that young driver struggling to change their tire on the highway…
Do something nice for that person who’s always helping others...
Save this person's life...
If so, you’re probably right.
If not you, who?
PS. Though he didn't get on the podium, Lemieux was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s Pierre de Coubertin Medal for true sportsmanship. Unlike the gold medal, this award has only been given out 18 times.
Leave a comment
Please note, comments must be approved before they are published