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Olympian Ralph Boston encourages Redan track athletes
by Maurice Dixon
January 30, 2014 04:01 PM | 2372 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston gave an inspirational speech to the Redan track and field team Jan. 22.
Staff / Katherine Frye / Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston gave an inspirational speech to the Redan track and field team Jan. 22.
During his hour of speaking to the members of the Redan boys and girls’ track and field teams on Jan. 22, Ralph Boston, a former Olympic gold medalist who is also good friends with Principal Greg Goodwin, shared some great stories and offered nothing but encouragement.

In the school’s auditorium, Boston talked about how his mother and high school coach “forced” him into the sport.

“The first day of practice, I thought I was going to die,” said Boston, who was also a very successful quarterback. “I laid on the ground but when I finally got over that fatigue, there was a euphoria that covered me and began to feel great. From that point on, I was hooked on track and field.”

From that point, Boston would go on to excel at Tennessee State, which was the only school to offer him a scholarship, as a student and an athlete.

“I was scared to go back home as a loser,” Boston said. “That is probably why I ran as well as I did. I’ve heard that fear makes cowards of all of us but on the other hand it makes warriors of all of us if you allow it to drive you.”

Then Boston would go on to collect Olympic medals in the long jump and see more of the world than he ever imagined.

“This is one heck of a sport and it can do things for you that you don’t dream about,” said Boston, who was the first person to leap 27 feet. “And now you can make money.”

Boston also informed those in attendance that Usain Bolt made $20 million in 2013.

“When I would travel to Europe I would hate to come home,” Boston said. “A guy told me I was like a rock star. Track and field is the sport in Europe.”

Even though money and fame are nice, Boston said he mainly wanted his audience to leave understanding the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity.

“Don’t be afraid to think big,” he said. “There is magic to thinking big and be consistent in everything you do because consistency pays not only for track and field or sports but for life.”

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