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在美国运动员中,鲁伦-加德纳被人们认为是最不可能成为焦点的人;然而,这位名不见经传的选手竟在2000年悉尼奥运会上摔倒了有“西伯利亚熊”之称的三届奥运会冠军卡列林(Aleksandr Karelin),创造了奥运会古罗马式角力的奇迹。究竟是什么给了他无穷的力量呢?

  Cows have to be milked twice a day, so work on a farm never stops. But every Christmas, we nine Gardner children let Dad sleep in). We woke before dawn in the Wyoming[ii]) cold to do the chores[iii]). My brother and I would argue — and sometimes wrestle — over who had to do what. One year he fed the calves — a ten-minute job. While I got stuck[iv]) herding the cows into their stalls to be milked. They can knock you over, and while you‘re down 20 of them will escape. That morning I decided I wasn‘t going to run from work that had to be done. I wanted to say I did my best. By myself, I pushed them all into the milking pens.

  The same determination helped me win a gold medal in Sydney, and kept me alive when I drove my snowmobile into a frozen Wyoming creek in February 2002. I was lost outside in sub-zero weather from 4:30 in the afternoon until the next morning. When the rescuers found me, they had to saw[v]) my boots off. I should have died that night but willed[vi]) myself to stay alive by focusing like I did on herding the cows, like I did on facing an opponent[vii]). Even if I didn‘t make it, I wanted to know I had done my best.

  I did make it. Doctors amputated[viii]) a toe and I had several skin grafts[ix]), but I can still wrestle. That first Christmas after the accident meant a lot to me. My nieces and nephews did the farm chores, so I got to sleep in. I woke up viewing the day, and any that followed, as a bonus[x]).

  每天要给母牛挤两次奶,所以农场上的活儿总也干不完。但在每个圣诞节那天,我们加德纳家的9个孩子都会让父亲美美地睡个懒觉。我们冒着怀俄明州的严寒,天不亮就起床去干活。我和我哥哥常会为谁得去干什么而争吵不休——有时还会摔跤来决定。有一年圣诞节,他只负责喂喂小牛——一项10分钟就能搞定的工作。而我却得费力地将母牛赶进牛栏给它们挤奶。它们能把你撞翻,而一旦你被撞倒,其中的20只奶牛便会趁机跑出牛栏。那天上午,我决定忠于职守,完成必须要做的事。我想说我的确尽力了。最终,我自个儿把它们全都推进了挤奶的围栏里。

  同样的决心帮我在悉尼赢得了一块金牌,并使我在2002年2月误将雪地车驶入怀俄明州一条冰冷刺骨的小河中后活了下来。零度以下的天气里,我在野外迷了路,从那天下午四点半一直撑到第二天早晨。当救护人员发现我时,他们不得不把我的靴子从脚上锯下来。那夜,我本可能就被冻死了,但就像当初在赶牛和面对对手时我做的那样,坚强的意志让我挺了过来。即使我不能成功,我也想确定自己曾尽力努力过。

  我的确成功了。医生们截断了我的一根脚趾,我有几块皮肤也是移植的,但我还可以摔跤。这次事故后的第一个圣诞节对我来说意义重大。我的侄子侄女们包揽了农场上的所有活儿,让我美美睡了一觉。醒来后,我把这一天和之后的每一天都看作是对我的奖赏。

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