February 20, 2006

My Olympic Hero

I’ve finished the body, and started the first shoulder strap. But it’s still not 65% of the final sweater, which is where we’re at according to the counter.

So I’ve decided to make Eric Moussambani my personal Olympic hero. Some of you may remember him from the Sydney Summer Games — he’s the swimmer from Equatorial Guinea who finished a full 50 seconds behind the next slowest swimmer in the 100m race. There were no other swimmers in his heat, so he swam the agonizingly slow race entirely by himself, visibly struggling to even stay afloat by the end of it. He had done all his training in a pool only 20m long, and qualified for the Olympics through a special scholarship program, essentially. It was both heartbreaking and inspiring to watch him fight for the finish, and the crowd cheered him on every flailing stroke of the way, giving him a standing ovation at the end.

So I think Eric Moussambani will be my personal inspiration to keep going until I’ve finished my event, however far behind the rest of the competitors I may be.

“Sometimes the race is its own reward.
Sometimes it isn’t about being the best or the fastest.
Sometimes the Olympics is about an Eric Moussambani finding a way, not to win, but just to finish.”

Posted by Aven at February 20, 2006 11:55 PM

What a heroine!!! Nice poem quote — where did it come from?

And yes, I’ll be one of the ones giving you a standing ovation.

Posted by: Mom at February 21, 2006 10:53 AM

I don’t remember the year or the athlete, but I do remember ABC showing some skier coming down the hill hours after everyone had left. He was in last place, but he DID finish. I wish the broadcasters would recognize more efforts like that instead of all that “up close and personal” stuff they insist on showing. Sounds like you have chosen a very worthwhile Olympic hero.

Posted by: Carol at February 21, 2006 02:32 PM

What a nice post. I am behind as well and I haven’t even blogged one word about it yet. Here’s hoping for an inspiring finish for us all.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 21, 2006 03:52 PM

An inspiring story. Your sweater is gorgeous BTW!

Posted by: Chelle at February 21, 2006 04:11 PM

That is both inspiring, funny and kind of sad. But yes! Keep going to the end. It’s not whether you win the race but how you ran it.

Posted by: Carrie K at February 21, 2006 05:38 PM

I remember that! I remember being moved by the fact that he just had the GUTS to finish even though he was totally last.

kind of like the (fictionalized) account of the first-ever Jamaican bobsledder team that was in the movie “Cool Runnings” (which is a movie I love, FWIW, even though it’s technically a “kids’” movie)

Posted by: fillyjonk at February 23, 2006 04:44 PM