As long as we're on the topic of athletes and examples of virtue, take a look at this video of Olympian Derek Redmond at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He had spent countless hours training and toiling to the point of exhaustion in order to win that gold medal, only to suffer an excruciatingly painful hamstring tear. One cannot help but be moved, not only by his tragic fall, but even more so by his heroic determination to finish the race, and by his dad coming out of the stands to literally carry his son across the finish line. The sight of this man hobbling along, sobbing on his father's shoulder in pain and disappointment while his father supports him and encourages him to continue serves as a powerful image for all of us - especially the sons and fathers among us.
No matter how trying, difficult, painful or long our trek in the valley of tears may be, Our Father is carrying us on his shoulder, giving us the graces to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)