"I Hope You Like the Medal"
When the Canadian Olympic 4X400 relay team was disqualified and lost their bronze medal, a 10 year old Newfoundland boy sent them his own medal.
Elijah Porter's gift
Elijah Porter, a ten year old boy from Newfoundland, was, like many Canadians, heartbroken when their nation's 4X100 relay team won the Olympic bronze medal, only to be disqualified when one of their runners stepped on a lane line during the race. The Canadians - Justyn Warner, Oluseyi Smith, Gavin Smellie and Jared Connaughton - had thrust themselves from relative obscurity onto the medal podium, or so they thought, when they came in third behind the Jamaicans and the Americans.
Overjoyed at coming in third, the Canadian runners had draped themselves in their country's flag and had just begun a victory lap around the stadium, filled with 80,000 fans, when the disqualification was announced, after the judges saw that Connaughton had hit the line on one step of the third leg of the race.
"Yeah, it was my fault," said Connaughton. "It was a great race. When I looked up on the screen, I saw the replay and I could see that I stepped on the line. It was pretty unforgivable. I am sad and sorry for my teammates."
Warner,. however, said "Everyone dreams about getting a medal and we just had one taken away. It sucks."
Canadian athletic officials immediately appealed the ruling, saying that Connaughton's misstep posed no advantage and had no bearing on the outcome, but their appeal was quickly denied.
With his letter to the four Canadian Olympic sprinters, Elijah enclosed the Timbit soccer medal he won at Tim Horton's Donut Shop:
"Dear Justyn, Gavin, Jared, and Oluseyi, I'm Elijah Porter. I'm ten and I live in Newfoundland, Canada. When I heard what happened om Aug. 11, I knew it was wrong. The rules were not right. But, at last, I realized how good you were. We're Canadians. We persevere. We create better lives for each other. The cold didn't stop us from living in the north. We didn't lose the War of 1812. We have earned our freedom. Someday, if I become a biologist, if I get rich, and, if I remember, I will donate money to the summer and winter Canadian Olympians. I hope you like the medal." - Elijah Porter.
images from commondreams.org