I am sure you have been told before not to give up. For you to achieve your goals in life, you will need to practice this principle no matter the hurdles in your way. All the great achievers in history had to persist against all odds to make their dreams come true. We all get the temptation to give up when things become tough. Your desire to achieve your goal must be stronger than the temptation to give up for you to push on even when victory seems to be impossible.
In Sydney 2000 Olympics, Eric Moussambani (later nicknamed Eric the Eel), a swimmer from Equatorial Guinea won heat one of the 100 metre freestyle and his story shows how anybody has a chance to win if they fight to the end. Moussambani only gained entry into the Olympics via a wild-card scheme which was established to give athletes from developing countries the opportunity to compete. He had never dipped a toe in an Olympic sized 50 metre pool and 12 months before the Olympics, he was unable to swim. He only taught himself how to swim in a 20 metre hotel pool and a local river after gaining a place to compete in the Olympics. Coming from a poor country, he only arrived with about $80 spending money and was to compete with swimmers who were on the world standard with better skills, training and welfare. Nevertheless, he was determined to represent his country and compete at the biggest stage. Luckily for Moussambani, his rivals in the heat (Karim Bare from Niger and Tajikistan’s Farkhod Oripor) false started and were disqualified for their overzealousness. However, he still had to swim in order to qualify. He was too slow that all the 17,000 fans present thought he could not finish.
“This guy doesn’t look like he’s going to make it,” said Adrian Moorhouse, co-commentating for the BBC. “I am convinced this guy is going to have to get hold of the lane rope in a moment,” he continued.
Moussambani however, was able to fight on and won heat one in a time of 1 minute 52.72 seconds (the slowest in Olympic history). He actually went on to become a celebrity in Sydney (and the whole world) more than those who won Gold medals!
We all have situations in life when we think that we are not the best; that the other guys are better than us. We even give up without trying because we think that we cannot compete. However, sometimes victory comes just by persisting up to the end of the race. There are so many ‘Moussambani situations’ in our lives which we do not realise and therefore end up giving away our victories.