3 astounding moments in sporting history
5 months ago, 13 Jan 13:29
hen an African team makes past the group stages of the World Cup, it is usually the last one left. And when the quarter-final draws are announced, something very special happens. Whatever team is left standing, no matter where it’s from, the entire continent gets behind it. They make us believe in ourselves and show us that there are no limits. This is why we need more athletes and why we need to support them with movements like #Tujiamini. Nothing brings people together like sports do. Here is proof of that with 3 moments in sporting history that brought everyone together. Few people who saw it will forget the 400m semi-final in the 1992 Olympics. A favorite to win, Derek Redmond was well on his way to the final and Olympic glory. It was not meant to be. When the gun went, Derek shot off and was in good form but halfway through the race, disaster struck. His hamstring snapped and Derek fell. But it total agony, the Briton rose up and started limping to the finish line. Assistants and medics tried to get him off the pitch but he refused. By the time he rounded the bend to the finish line, all the other runners had finished their race. His father knew how important it was that Derek finish that race so he jumped onto the tracks and raced to help. The crowd realised what was happening and the cheering started. Father and son crossed the finished to a screaming crowd, thousand of fans in tears. He did not win the race but Derek Redmond will certainly go down in olympic history. In the late 1960s a young Cuban broke the stranglehold that Americans had had on Olympic boxing since Mohammed Ali’s gold in 1960. Teofilo Stevenson faced the American favorite in the third round of Olympic qualifiers and ended the American’s 65 match winning streak. He went on to win gold in Munich, instantly becoming a national hero. That’s when the big money offers started coming in. At a time when Cuba was facing sanctions and economic troubles, it was tempting to fight under another flag. Teofilo refused all offers and stayed in Cuba. It is easy to think that the East African dominance of long and middle distance races has always been a reality but it is actually relatively recent. The man who paved the way for our incredible gold medal winners was Abebe Bikila. Running the marathon in the 1960 Roman Olympic Games, Bikila faced derision from a still fascist Italian population and dismissal by commentators and other competitors alike. It did not stop him and in the most humble, unassuming way, Bikila told other African athletes that they could compete. And they could win.
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