Find Your 68
Jamonir Jagr is a professional hockey player, originally from the Czech Republic; he wears the number 68 on his jersey. The number 68 is a reminder of the year (1968) when the Soviets invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia. In the 1998 Olympic Games, Jagr represented his country (it was the first time professionals were allowed to compete). That year the USA, Canada and Sweden were favorites to win the gold medal and the Czech Republic was a heavy underdog. The Czech Republic happened to surprise the world by defeating the top seeds Canada, USA and Russia in the gold medal game. Their success was largely fueled by the passionate play of their captain, Jamonir Jagr.
In regards to the years of Soviet occupation, there was little the Czechs could do to express their intense outrage. The gold medal game was their great opportunity with the world watching and the country behind their team. Jagr put on his jersey displaying the Czech Republic’s insignia and the number 68 and headed to the rink. The referee called for ice time. Jamonir Jagr stood up and had this powerful remark to say, “I waited my whole life for this day. I dedicate this game to my grandfather and all those that lost their life during the Soviet occupation.”
This was much more than a game to Jamonir Jagr. It wasn’t about scoring a goal, gaining personal glory or even winning a gold medal. It was about playing for a cause bigger than him, showing honor to those who had sacrificed so much for their nation. That cause was big enough to fuel his team toward a gold medal.
Here is another example. One successful businessman credits his business success to his mother. She worked in a machine shop to put him through Boston College. She died just before graduation. He says that every client that walks through the door is his mother. His success is not just business, its honoring the sacrifice of his mother.
Do you have a 68? Is there someone in your life worth honoring by the way you live your life? Find your 68.