98 year old dobri dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war, walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes and leather shoes to the city of sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.
though a well recognized fixture around several of the city’s chruches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying bulgarian monasteries and churches and the utility bills of orphanages, living entirely off his monthly state pension of 80 euros and the kindness of others.
There was Liu Xiang, his second consecutive Olympics ruined almost immediately by catastrophic injury, hopping toward the finish line on his one good leg. The right one, the one that betrayed him in Beijing four years ago and shockingly again here Tuesday morning, could bear no weight.
So Liu hopped. And an Olympic Stadium crowd of 80,000 that had gasped just moments earlier when the Chinese hero crashed on the very first hurdle of his 110-meter preliminary heat began to applaud. (x)
There are countless champions in the history of the world that have fallen, but only a selected few will stay heroes forever. Liu Xiang’s spirit as an athlete and as a fellow human ensures his heroic reputation in everyone’s hearts.