‘Nine Gold Medals’ was written by David Roth, a well-known doctor of homeopathic medicine. He received a medal from the Academie Nationale de Medicine in 1850, He became a forerunner and great publisher of homeopathic thinking in Europe. In this poem, Dr. Roth describes an Olympic meet conducted for the sake of differently abled athletes. He specifically describes the hundred-yard dash that was conducted in that Olympics.
The hundred-yard dash is about to start. Athletes have come from all over the country. Spectators are excited as the contest for the gold, silver, and bronze medals is about to begin. The athletes have trained hard for many months and are ready to run their race. The race is the final event of the day and thus almost all the spectators have gathered to witness the hundred-yard dash.
The calls are made for the beginning of the race and nine athletes draw near the starting line. They line up next to each other behind the starting line, waiting for the gun to explode. As the gun goes off, all the nine athletes surge forward from the starting line. The crowd watches with bated breath. Suddenly, quite unexpectedly, the smallest athlete trips, stumbles, and falls on the asphalt.
The sound of agony and frustration that comes out of his mouth is audible to all. His dreams and his ambitions roll in the dirt, as tears run down his face. But something happens next that shocks, amazes, and stuns the audience.
The other eight athletes stop almost in unison and come back for the fallen athlete. They do not mind their training and sacrifice of many months. They help the little boy to stand on his feet, and then, all of them, joining hands, walk towards the finish line. The banner of ‘Special Olympics,’ floating above the finish line is appropriate in the gesture of the eight athletes who sacrifice their medals for the sake of their fallen competitor.
The crowd watches in tears, unable to believe what they see. All the nine athletes are awarded gold medals for their empathy and show of sportsmanship. The crowd erupts in joy and a standing ovation is given to the athletes. The beaming faces of the athletes showcase their happiness to the world.
This poem is a testament to the show of camaraderie and humane feeling shown by people in unlikely places. David Roth’s description of the ‘Special Olympics’ and the beautiful gesture of the athletes bring to one’s mind the necessity of unselfishness to make this world truly special.