The Heart Of A Champion Athlete Takes Many Forms

400804 48: (NEWSWEEK, US NEWS, MACLEANS AND GERMANY OUT) Members of the 1980 U.S. gold medal hockey team cheer after lighting the torch at the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium February 8, 2002 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

We have all seen it, right? You've probably come across it as a spectator, or maybe as a competitor, where an athlete, or team, demonstrates an immeasurable amount of inner will and determination that lifts them above and beyond insurmountable odds. A kind of superhuman perseverance you might say.

Like when the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team defeated the Russians (the best team on the planet at the time) to advance to the gold medal round of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Many would describe the U.S. Team as having this kind of heart in order to accomplish such a task. The odds were certainly stacked heavily against them.

And if you know the Bethany Hamilton story, how could anyone forget that? The one where a 13-year-old surfer girl was attacked by a shark while surfing, losing her entire left arm, yet, after healing, continued surfing all the way up to the professional ranks. Now that's heart, right?

Whether it comes from an individual athlete or a team, and no matter what sport this "heart" is demonstrated in, it always leaves those on the outside awestruck over what happened.

No less inspiring is the story of a 16-year-old runner, Holland Reynolds, who collapsed just steps away from the finish line at the California Cross Country State Championships. A colleague of mine, Colleen Reagan (retired varsity volleyball coach), put me onto this early last week.

No words could possibly express the emotion in this story any better than the following YouTube video. Watch for yourself and get a true feeling of what real heart is all about.

Man, talk about the heart of a champion

And if you want a more complete story of what happened and why visit this ABC News link and video on Yahoo:  (short 30 sec. commercial first)

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