About the Poet-
David Roth is American rock vocalist, songwriter and author. Born on October 10, 1954, David Roth had a keen passion for music ever since he was a child. He is also known as a successful solo artist, releasing a number of Gold and Platinum records. However, he is best known as the lead singer of the California-based hard rock band Van Halen. David taught singing, songwriting, and performance at the Augusta Heritage workshops, SummerSongs (NY – where he currently serves as Executive Director), Common Ground on the Hill (MD), the Woods Dance & Music Camp (Canada), WUMB’s Summer Acoustic Music Week (NH), Moab Folk Camp (UT), Rowe Center (MA), Pendle Hill (PA), Lamb’s Retreat (MI), the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), the National Wellness Institute (WI), and for many other songwriting groups and associations around the country. David is also founder/director of the Cape Cod Songwriters Retreat and creator/host of Cape Cod’s “Full Moon Open Mic” which, for the past 12 years has provided a forum for musicians to connect .
About the Poem-
“Nine Gold Medals” describes a special type of sports event named Special Olympics for the differently-abled athletes and emphasizes on the human attributes on compassion, cooperation and empathy.
Summary of Nine Gold Medals
The athletes had come from so many the countries
To run for the gold and the silver and bronze
Many weeks and months in training
All building up to the games
Many athletes from all over the country have gathered together to run for gold, silver and bronze medals. After arduous and sincere training for the events, finally the day has come where their hard work was about to be assessed.
All round the field spectators were gathered
Cheering on all the young women and men
Then the final event of the day was approaching
The last race about to begin
A number of excited and motivating spectators had gathered around the field to cheer for the participants. The final event of the day –the race, was about to begin which got the spectators all spirited and lively.
The loudspeakers called out the names of the runners
The one hundred metres the race to be run
And nine young athletes stood there determined
And poised for the sound of the gun
The names of the young participants for the hundred metres race were being announced on loudspeakers. Nine determined athletes took their positions and waited for the race to begin.
The signal was given, the pistol exploded
And so did the runners on hearing the sound
But the youngest among them stumbled and staggered
And he fell on his knees to the ground
The pistol was fired and finally the race had begun. All the athletes started running towards the gold medal but the youngest and smallest one among them stumbled, lost his balance and fell on the ground.
He gave out a cry of frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling the story
Now it’s a strange one, but here’s what occurred
The athlete who fell down on the ground cried in disappointment and agony. All his dreams and hopes about winning the event were shattered. His efforts and months of training had gone to waste. Yet the race didn’t end for him on his sad note. Something strange and unusual happened.
The eight other athletes stopped in their tracks
The ones who had trained for so long to compete
One by one they turned round and came back to help him
And lifted the lad to his feet
This is a very strange and peculiar gesture by any participants in a competition. Eight other athletes on seeing him fall down and cry in frustration, stopped and turned back to help him out. These runners who had trained so hard for this competition didn’t hesitate to discontinue the race to help the young boy stand up on his feet.
Then all nine runners joined hands and continued
The one hundred metres reduced to a walk
And the banner above that said “Special Olympics”
Could not have been nearer the mark
Stanza 7 adds a very emotional and ethical perspective to the poem. All the nine athletes together joined their hands and walked towards their goal. The competitiveness of the event had reduced to a harmonious and united walk. They runners justified the spirit of the Special Olympics with their gestures of empathy, sportsmanship and consideration.
That’s how the race ended, nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And the banner above and nine smiling faces
Said more than these words ever will
Said more than these words ever will
Finally the race ended with nine athletes finishing the race while holding hands together. Each one of them was awarded a gold medal for their ethical and moral stature. Those nine smiling faces left an unforgettable impact on everybody’s hearts. This extraordinary behavior of the truly special people is something that cannot be put into words. It is a great lesson for all of us as they teach us to value humanity and benevolence more than just winning a competition.