Is the poem ‘Nine Gold Medals’ by David Roth referring to any particular Olympics event? Which year did this occur?
The poem ‘Nine Gold Medals’ is based on a story about the nine differently-abled athletes in a Special Olympic event. Though it is perceived to be ‘a true story’, an online report claims it to be partly true.
According to the folks at the Special Olympics Washington office, the incident happened at a 1976 track-and-field event held in Spokane, Washington. A contestant did take a tumble, and one or two of the other athletes turned back to help the fallen one, culminating in their crossing the finish line together, but it was only one or two, not everyone in the event. The others continued to run their race.