Saturday, November 26, 2011

TEDxDAR 2011: John Stephen Akwari

John Stephen Akwari is the man who finished who finished a marathon in spite of his injuries during the 1968 Olympics. He said 'My country did not send me to Mexico to start the race. They sent me to finish it." Just about anyone can start a race and anyone can be a winner. But to finish the world's most difficult footrace on principle, with a torn up knee? That's a whole other level of grit. We just don't make them like this anymore*.

His life makes for a good story, but I realized that the first few statements sum it up completely: one of 16 children, he was sent to school because he hated herding cattle and simply wouldn't. Stubborn kid. Look where it got him: a lifetime of sports, comptition, and the kind of feat that reminds us that once upon a time being an Olympian required something that no amount of sport science can help you with. As for the rest of his life story I am afraid it's one of those moments that can't be typed up easily. The reminiscences of a veteran sportsman and some sports history too. I think that the video of the presentation on TEDxDAR will tell the story better.

*How come everything really good seems to have happened in the 1960s anyways?

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