RACE TO GLORY captures the thrills and struggles of 2 teen boys and a girl competing in the Olympic Games. Intertwined in the sports competition: a prediction from the Delphi Oracle, romance, and threats from the young Nero Claudius.
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Timos, a young, aspiring sprinter, offends the future Roman emperor, Nero Claudius, who becomes his nemesis and vows to kill him. When Timos meets Kyniska—who also hopes to compete in Olympia—he is charmed by her beauty and brains.
But to avoid the restrictions of her overly-stern father, they meet in secret aided by her clever tutor Sisyphus. Discovered, she must face her father’s fury, forbidding her to compete. Troubles increase for Timos when his best friend and Olympic competitor betrays him and a classmate commits suicide. He travels to Delphi to seek assurance of success from Apollo’s Oracle but falls into more misfortune. Can Timos and Kyniska overcome their obstacles, reunite, and win their coveted olive-leaf crowns?
Olympia, Greece/Summer 53 AD
The young man curled his toes into the marble grooves of the starting slab. He tensed his naked body into the required standing position. Glistening with olive oil and sprinkled with fine sand, he waited. An itch on his left buttock craved a scratch, but he dared not disturb the sculptured outline of his pose—not with thousands of spectators’ eyes upon him.
Glancing down the line of his competitors—fellow trainees, including a life-long friend—he felt the favor of the gods upon him. The strength of Heracles was with him. Had he not prayed to Zeus with deep faith? Had not the great god withheld his thunderbolts just as the judges were considering a postponement for rain?
He watched the roiling, dark clouds in front of him break apart. Shafts of sunlight pierced through the openings and reached down to earth. As the humid air of summer warmed, he felt sweat trickle down his back.
The sprint, one length of the long stadium, would bring more glory to the winner than any other Olympian sport. His scalp tingled in anticipation of the olive wreath. For most of his eighteen years he’d trained for this victory.
His muscles tightened.
The blast of the herald’s trumpet split the air. At the judge’s cry of ápete! he sprang forward. This was his moment.