Olympian and former Kansas Congressman Jim Ryun delivered a motivational speech to the student body of Holy Trinity Classical Christian School on Friday morning in Beaufort.
Ryun’s speech touched on the hardships he endured in high school as an athlete and the importance of never giving up on your dreams or losing faith.
The message hit home with the young students in the assembly, many of whom are aspiring athletes themselves.
After 10 years of serving in Congress, Ryun’s priorities have shifted from legislation to a more spiritual endeavor. Ryun and his wife, Annie, now focus on inspiring young students and runners to live a life of faith and discipline.
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“Just because you fail in one area of your life, does not mean you are a failure,” Ryun said.
Just because you fail in one area of your life, does not mean you are a failure.
The hearing-impaired former Olympian was once cut from both his church baseball team and his high school basketball team, before turning to track and field sports.
It’s hard to believe that a man who was named ESPN’s “Best High School Athlete of the Century” was ever cut from a team, but Ryun shared that rejection is what inspired him to keep moving forward.
“Things in life are not always easy,” he said.
After thousands of hours of training and running, Ryun broke the 3:50 mile, then a world record. He shared an inspiring 4-minute sports clip with the student assembly and told them “God has a plan for your life no matter what.”
After his running career, Ryun landed a seat representing the second Congressional district of Kansas. He was named the most conservative member in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.
Ryun and his wife dedicate most of their time to the Jim Ryun running camps across the country. It’s been 40 years since they started the program and they usually welcome up to 100 runners each summer to the camp.
Applicants can sign up on www.ryunrunning.com for the upcoming season.
Ryun is also the founder of the Madison Project, a political action committee that helps elect the most conservative candidates in the nation to Congress and Senate.
The Madison Project was the first to discover and endorse current presidential candidate Ted Cruz during his primary election as a Texas Senator. The Madison Project continues to raise campaign awareness during Cruz’s presidential run, especially as the South Carolina primary approaches.
His advice to South Carolina voters in the upcoming primary?
“Research your candidate. Dig deep,” he said. “Find out what is really going on and what they’ve actually said and done. Then get involved in a campaign and help support your candidate along the way.”