The Olympic Games are always much more than just the competition. There is a special atmosphere that is inspiring and there are many athletes that made a huge impact even without winning a competition. Plenty of inspiring Olympic stories appeared along the years and we picked 3 that impacted millions from around the world.
Derek Redmond – Barcelona, 1992
During the 400 meters semi-final race in Barcelona Derek Redmond was in the best shape of his career. He was actually a favorite for the gold metal. Ever since 1985 he kept breaking records and winning competitions. Unfortunately, his career was filled with injuries. He actually went through 8 surgeries before the Summer Olympics of 1992. However, he kept coming back over and over.
As the competition came, everything was going smooth but an injury appeared right in the semi-final, one that was much worse than what all expected. 2 years after the competition he went through 7 interventions and the result was him being forced to retire.
Getting back to the competition, he collapsed and was in strong physical pain as he was hit by another strong injury. Then, he willed himself on and finished the race, helped by his father. The entire arena was inspired and people from all around the world remember his will and perseverance.
Wilma Rudolph – Rome, 1960
Wilma was prematurely born and had no real options available to properly sustain a sports career. Then, she was hit by polio, all happening during the fifties. This did not stop her though as she really loved what she was doing. Overcoming polio happened by the time she reached 12 years old. After only 8 years she became an Olympic champion. Eventually, she ended up winning 3 gold medals in 1960, during the Rome Summer Olympics. After 1962 she retired but Wilma Rudolph still continued to be involved in sports, coaching children that were underprivileged.
Kerri Strug – 1996
Until the year 1996 the women gymnastics team of USA did not win any gold medals. That did put a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Kerri Strug and the entire team, dubbed as The Magnificent Seven by the international press. After a lot of hard work and dedication, Strug won the much wanted first ever US gold medal in gymnastics. What is interesting is that she managed to finish the vault event while fighting a broken ankle injury.
At the end of the day, the Olympic Games are so much more than just sports events and competition. The truth is that every single year you can find various inspiring stories that will inspire you in your entire life. All you have to do is look for them.