Tales of compassion, resilience towards life’s adversities, and stories of hope in the face of unthinkable challenges are always so fascinating… I just finished reading one such story, “The Hard and the Soft“, brought to us by op-ed columnist, David Brooks, of The New York Times. Speaking of Norway’s winnings at the recent Winter Olympics, he states that “This was no anomaly. Over the years, Norwegians have won more gold medals in Winter Games, and more Winter Olympics medals over all, than people from any other nation.” He cites the story of Jan Baalsrud, a young Norwegian in 1943, from the book, “We Die Alone” by David Howarth. (I should read this book.)
A while back we watched Akira Kurosawa’s epic-like film, “Dersu Uzala“, an Academy Award winner from 1975. Again, this was a riveting film, and I’m reminded of it today!
Returning to the spirit of Norwegians, is yet another compelling story of Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian zoologist — and later in 1922, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — who ventured to go “Farthest North” to the North Pole… way back in 1893. This is the adventure narrative of a man who struggled with the most extreme forces of nature.
Undoubtedly, we hear, read, and watch stories of human survival through man-created atrocities and challenges. But those are for another day. For now, I silently congratulate not only those who succeeded and won medals at the Winter Olympics, but also those who toiled to make their way to the West Coast, Canada, this year. Kudos to you all!