Image from duluthnewstribune.com
President Thomas S. Monson praised the determination of 10,000-meter long-distance running Olympian Garry Bjorklund in his October 2007 talk, "A Royal Priesthood." Although Bjorklund didn't medal in the 1976 Summer Olympic Games, the story of how he got to the Olympics is pretty remarkable. President Monson shared:
"In July of 1976, runner Garry Bjorklund was determined to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team’s 10,000-meter race which would be run at the Montreal Olympics. Halfway through the grinding qualifying race, however, he lost his left shoe. What would you and I do if that were our experience? I suppose he could have given up and stopped. He could have blamed his bad luck and lost the opportunity of participating in the greatest race of his life, but this champion athlete did not do that. He ran on without his shoe. He knew that he would have to run faster than he had ever run in his life. He knew that his competitors now had an advantage that they did not have at the beginning of the race. Over that cinder track he ran, with one shoe on and one shoe off, finishing third and qualifying for the opportunity to participate in the race for the gold medal. His own running time was the best he had ever recorded. He put forth the effort necessary to achieve his goal."