All mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. St. John 17:10
For a few days back in 2012, everyone in Cooperstown, New York had Olympic fever. Team USA banners hung in all the shop windows, people wore Olympic buttons on their lapels. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a watch party and there were drink specials in the local bar.
We were all so excited because Sarah True, one of our own, was going for the gold. Sarah was then America’s leading triathlete, and she had grown up in our village of 2000 souls. Her parents still live in town, working at the local hospital. Sarah had swum across the Lake on the edge of the village when she was 14, and competed on the high school track team. Her old coaches and babysitters could remember how it was when she was just so tall.
In the end Sarah finished fourth, ten seconds short of a medal. But when she finally made it home, we paraded her down Main Street as a hero, with firetrucks and the high school band, proud as could be that one of our own had achieved something so incredible.
Behind our excitement was a sense that Sarah was carrying a little of all of us into her great moment before the eyes of the world. Some people felt they had helped to form her for this moment, for others her triumph was showing us just what could be possible for a kid from a little town in upstate New York. We had a little share in her glory, and for one unique moment, that was a thrilling thing.