Nine Gold Medals (Poem) by David Roth

Following poem titled "Nine Gold Medals" is by David Roth

The athletes had come from all over the country
To run for the gold, for the silver and bronze
Many weeks and months of training
All coming down to these games.

The spectators gathered around the old field
To cheer on all the young women and men
The final event of the day was approaching
Excitement grew high to begin.

The blocks were all lined up for those who would use them
The hundred-yard dash and the race to be run
These were nine resolved athletes in back of the starting line
Poised for the sound of the gun.

The signal was given, the pistol exploded
And so did the runners all charging ahead
But the smallest among them, he stumbled and staggered
And fell to the asphalt instead.

He gave out a cry in frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts all dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling this story
The same goes for what next occurred.

The eight other runners pulled up on their heels
The ones who had trained for so long to compete
One by one they all turned around and went back to help him
And brought the young boy to his feet.

Then all the nine runners joined hands and continued
The hundred-yard dash now reduced to a walk
And a banner above that said (Special Olympics)
Could not have been more on the mark.

That’s how the race ended, with nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And a standing ovation and nine beaming faces
Said more than these words ever will.


The poem describes a great event of hundred meter dash organised for differently-abled racers during special Olympics. The competitors and spectators were excited as it was the grand finale.

The race began with the gun shot but one of the 9 competitors stumbled and fell on the track at the start itself. In response to the little racer’s cry in pain, all other eight participants turned back to help him instead of completing the race.

They brought the little one to his feet and started walking towards the first line holding one another’s hands. They were all declared winners and given a standing ovation for their great spirit of sportsmanship which they displayed.