| Early winter when Hamie was seven years old, his mother and father were talking about how they had almost enough money to get a used truck. Hamie had a new pair of skates and had done his chores. He was doing his homework and as soon as he was done with it, he could go to the skating rink. Hamie had carefully packed away his old skates, in case his sister wanted to use them someday. She did not like the snow and did not want to go on the ice. But Hamie thought she might change her mind when she was a little older. So he had packed away his old skates just in case.
Hamie had been to the skating rink about an hour when he saw a strange man walk up to the edge of the rink and just stand and watch. Hamie knew everyone in town. He did not know this man. Many people from town seemed to be standing near this strange man. They were not talking to him, just standing nearby, looking at him and talking amongst themselves. This man watched Hamie and the other skaters for about an hour. Then he left.
The next day Hamie was back on the skating rink when he saw this man again. He was coming to the rink with some skates in his hand. It seemed like half the town was following him. The strange man sat on a bench and put on the skates, then he stepped onto the ice. He just skated around for a little while. Then he started to jump and twirl and spin. Hamie was in awe of how this man could skate. Hamie just stopped and watched the man skate around the rink. Then the man skated up to Hamie and said, " hello. My name is Jim and I see you like to skate." Hamie just nodded. Jim said, "would you like to learn how to so some jumps?" Hamie smiled and said, "yes!"
Jim told Hamie how to do some jumps and had Hamie practice them. In an hour Hamie was doing two new jumps, and had learned how to do one of his spins much better. Then Jim told Hamie he had to go, but would see him again.
The next day just as Hamie and his family were getting done with their supper, there was a knock on the door. His father went to the door and there stood Jim. He introduced himself to Hamie's parents and said he wanted to talk to them about Hamie and his skating. Hamie's mother ask Jim how he knew that Hamie liked to skate. Jim said he had received many letters from different people in this town, telling him about this kid that could really skate. So he had finally come to see for himself. He said he had watched Hamie and had given him some pointers and that Hamie sure learned fast.
Jim told the Smith family that he was a pro instructor at the rink in the city. They had heard of him many years ago, when he was on an Olympic team. By the time Jim left, some two hours later, it had been decided that if they could get Hamie to the rink three evenings a week, Jim would instruct him in skating at a reduced rate.
So that is how Hamie started his lessons, and started toward his dream of skating at the Olympics. It took many years of practicing, many hours of part time work for his father, and many long trips to the city. But Hamie's love of skating never diminished, and his determination kept him strong. Finally he was out there on the Olympic ice. The music was playing and Hamie was jumping and twirling and having a grand time. It does not matter if he won or not. What is important is that he finally was there. He had dreamed of being there when he was a small child and finally he was really there! With his loving family and a town full of friends behind him, he had worked hard and finally made it to the Olympic ice! A child's dream had come true!
Many years later Hamie sat in Jim's old office. It was Hamie's office now. The walls were lined with pictures of Hamie receiving many medals. His closet had many shelves in it. Lined on the shelves were skates. Old ones, big ones, small ones. Hamie always read his mail from regular people. He always kept in mind what his family and friends had done for him. He always took the time to go see any child that he received a letter about. Hamie knew how wonderful it was when he reached his dream. Perhaps someday he could help another with a child's dream.
|music: Olympic Spirit|