Here they come, the runners, hurdlers, throwers,
shooters, hitters, kickers, wrestlers, riders
divers, swimmers, lifters, leapers, rowers,
spinners, tumblers, balancers and sliders.
Arriving hopes of being at the top
when anthem and a pendant form a tear
and all the universe appears to stop,
respecting national pride and personal cheer.
Then there are those who come, not for the prize,
a nobler cause than gold on trophy shelf,
to be not just elite in others’ eyes.
Much more – to be the very best of self.
But oh the disappointment for the rest
expecting to be standing high and proud,
deceived by fate and falling from the crest,
humbly slipping back into the crowd.
The gold, the silver and the bronze will shine,
awards, rewards and accolades resound.
When lustre fades, the pride persists through time,
the day you took and wore your personal crown.