Team USA hasn’t won a gold medal in women’s Olympic cycling since 1984, but fans thought Mara Abbott was going to end that drought. With a 40 second lead on Sunday, Abbott was positioned to win the gold.
With 200 meters left in the race, Abbott thought her dreams were about to become reality, but the last 150 meters along scenic Copacabana Beach became a nightmare. Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands, Sweden’s Emma Johansson and Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini had been chasing Abbott for most of the race, and the three of them passed the race-weary Abbott.
When bicyclists think of this race, will they remember Abbott for her effort or for her 4th place finish?
Fortunately, finishing in 1st place is not a prerequisite to pleasing God. In his letter to Timothy, Paul said: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing (I Timothy 4:7-8).
I applaud the effort, discipline, and dedication of Mara Abbott and Team USA; and, I cheer for you as you fight the good fight.