The Story of Nelson Stone

By Glen Burua

Flags were raised the moment I crossed the finish line. It was a moment I couldn’t even believe had happened. I mean leading up to the game, I was crying almost every night in my apartment in Brisbane.

Behind every success is failures, pain, depression, burning of midnight oil and shedding of tears.

If you watched the Pacific Games in July 2015, you would have seen our very own runner, Nelson Stone making the country proud by attaining a gold medal for 400m. I was so interested in what was happening behind the scenes so I followed up with Nelson Stone and interviewed him.

Here is the story he told:

“I dropped out of grade ten. As expected, I received a lot of criticisms just like any dropout would.

When I was twelve years old, I had a dream that seemed quite impossible. That dream was to meet Muhammad Ali (American champion boxer) as he was my role model.

Despite numerous failures, that dream kept me going.

Leading up to the Pacific Games was the most painful moment of my life. I was eager to run for my country, Papua New Guinea. However, I had a groin injury that crushed that dream. Even before sustaining the injury in May, I was clocked 11th in the Pacific. I was nowhere near being qualified for the games.

Every night I would break down in tears. I would let the hot water run in the shower and when it creates the steam, I would write 40:31 on the wall. 40:31 was my favorite scripture of the book of Isaiah.

It says:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

The following day, I was going to fly to Gold Coast from Brisbane for the final competion. If I fail this last run like the previous ones, that’s it, it would be the end.

That night I started crying. I prayed to God and really asked him to give me a second chance. I didn’t know how was going to work out. Tears trailing down my eyes, I wrote 40:31 for the last time.

As I came out, I switched on the TV and “Rocky 3” acted by Sylvester Stalone came on.

I watched the movie. It came to the part where Sylvester Stalone was about to quit his fight.

His wife asked him, why do you want to quit after all the hardwork?

He replied, because I am afraid of losing.

That was my inspiration from God. I had goosebumps. Maybe I was so scared because I was afraid of losing. It’s all about giving my personal best. Cut the long story short, I came second in the competion the following day in Gold Coast and was qualified for the South Pacific games.

God is real. If He could work for me at that time, He can work for anybody. Faith moves mountains. Whatever challenges you might be going through, trust in God for He can make a way where there seemed to be no way.”

Nelson went on to make Papua New Guinea proud by winning the Gold Medal in the 400m, at the 2015 Pacific Games held in Port Moresby.

Not only that, his dream of seeing Late Muhammad Ali came true when he saw him in person at the Olympic Games in London.



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