Standing among the world's best decathletes, Byran Clay looks like David to a gang of Goliaths. Clay stands at only 5'11", which is several inches shorter than the typical world-class 10-event specialist.


But Clay has tremendous speed, surprising strength, incredible determination and a huge heart for competition and challenge. Last Friday, the 2008 Olympic champion came to Hesperia to fulfill a pre-Olympics promise. And his Bryan Clay Foundation walk-a-thon raised more than $65,000 for local elementary schools.


Clay, however, isn't the only hero of this story. Dave Stewart, the enthusiastic principal at Mesquite Trails Elementary, invited the decathlete to visit his school last year. Clay, whose picture is now on the coveted Wheaties box cover, not only accepted Stewart's invitation but he promised to come back and show the students his gold medal if he won. He certainly did.


Clay and Stewart are track and field pals. The two trained together when Stewart was attempting to make the Canadian Olympic squad. Both of these unusually gifted and driven men have something special that they are compelled to give our children: The knowledge that any child in Hesperia can dream big, take steps necessary to pursue their vision, and ultimately fulfill their destiny. Clay's dream became a reality on the track. Stewart's is fulfilled every day at his school.


Life wasn't handed to Clay on a silver platter. He is a product of a divorce. But he made a choice to look upward and pursue greatness. It's a tale for the ages. Thank you Dave Stewart for enabling Hesperia's youth to witness this amazing story and learn an invaluable life lesson firsthand.