A Father’s Choice

By Goldie Chong


In the Olympics in 1924 Eric Liddell was immortalized in the film “Chariots of Fire” on his uncompromising stand on his Christian principle of not running on a Sunday. In another Olympic event, Bill Havens made a similar stand. He was one of the four-man team that was the favourite to win the canoeing race. He was faced with a difficult decision of going to Paris with the team or staying at home to be with his wife who was expecting their first baby. 

Frank Haven


He decided to stay with his wife to go through the birth, foregoing his opportunity.  The US team with his replacement won the gold medal but Bill maintained he had no regrets.  

The story has a happy ending.  No, Bill did not win more medals in the following Olympics. 

But 28 years later, in 1952, he received a message from Helsinki where the Olympics were held.  It was from his son Frank. 

The message read: Dad, I won.  I am bringing home your gold medal”.

Bill had lived by his principle and was rewarded through his son. END

  back to the Homepage


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *