Monthly Letter

Dear Friends

Every now and then I come across a story that really inspires. So perhaps to get you through the dreary grey days of February, think about a Hungarian called  Karoly Takács. He was born in the Hungarian Army and was a world-class pistol shooter. He was denied a place in the Hungarian shooting team for the 1936 Olympics on the grounds that he was a sergeant, and only commissioned officers were allowed to compete. This ban was later lifted in Hungary and so Takács very much looked forward to the 1940 Summer Olympics. Things were looking good.

But during army training in 1938, his right hand was badly injured when a faulty grenade exploded. Undeterred Takács  switched to shooting with his left hand. So once again he was ever hopeful for The Olympic Games scheduled for 1940. Alas these Games were cancelled due to war. So he reset his focus on 1944 Games, what could possibly go wrong ? – you’ve guessed it, these were also cancelled due to the War.

Finally in 1948 Takács did get to compete  in London, and was up against the favourite Valiente. Valiente had heard about his accident, and came up to him before him – and asked what on earth he was doing there. His answer “ I have come to learn” Despite being the favourite, and having the name Valiente, he was beaten by Takacs. And then just for good measure, in 1952 Takács  repeated his success, against the same opponent, and picked up his second Gold. After the match Valiente congratulated him and said "you have learned more than enough now it's time to teach me".

At times we may feel life conspires against us – and in those times think about   Takács and  what he achieved, despite all the odds.

Pray that you may have the strength to cope with whatever lies ahead

Revd Shuna

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