David Roth’s poem “Nine Gold Medals” is set in the backdrop of a true incident in the Special Olympics held in Spokane, Washington in 1976. It was a track-and-field event where there were nine participants. One of the athletes fell down to the ground during the race. Then the other eight participants stopped in the middle of their race and returned to help the fallen one up on his feet. This incident inspired the poet to write the poem.