13 Olympians Featured in General Conference Talks

Bob Richards

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Elder Bennet also mentioned pole vault champion Robert Richards in his talk. Known to most as Bob Richards, this Olympian won two gold medals and a bronze medal during his Olympic career. Elder Bennet was impressed by a story Richards related about a fellow Olympian who conquered polio to compete in the 1932 Olympics. Here's how Elder Bennet related it in his talk

"Success in athletic competition is pretty much a matter of attitude, knowledge, and skill. Inherent ability is important, but that alone is not enough. Do you remember the “Be Honest with Yourself” program sponsored by the MIA some years ago, in which inspirational recordings from outstanding athletes and others were made available for use throughout the Church? One of those records featured Robert Richards, an outstanding U.S. pole vaulter. He emphasized that the one thing that characterizes all great athletes is desire, and he told about a young lady from Holland whom he had met at the 1932 Olympic Games. As a girl she wanted to become an outstanding swimmer, but she got polio. She didn’t give up but continued her program. Improvement came slowly, but it came, and the day arrived when she was able to swim across the pool. She said that made her the happiest girl alive. Then the time came when she could swim the length of the pool, and then several lengths. She stayed with it day after day until finally she defeated the world’s greatest swimmers in her events at the 1932 Olympics."
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