We often find motivation by watching people who have overcome difficulties and have succeeded against the odds because of those hindrances they have faced on their journey. Many of these compelling stories come to us from Olympic completion.
Stories like that of Pál Szekeres who, at present, is the only person ever who has won a medal at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Szekeres is a Hungarian fencer who won a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics before suffering serious spinal damage in a bun accident. He went on to win three gold medals and three bronze in wheelchair fencing at the Paralympics.
In 2008 Szekeres said, "on one side, it is very important that one is diligent and talented, success needs both of them. On the other side, only if one works a lot with endurance can he turn his diligence and talents to results."
As is the story of Im Dong Hyun (Olympic Inspiration Part 1), that’s motivational and inspirational stuff. The next time you are faced with an obstacle in your pursuit of success think about Pál Szekeres and maybe that obstacle will not seen that daunting and your situation will not seem that dire. If serious spinal injury cannot stop an Olympic athlete from pursuing his passion, you can move past your “limitations” to reach your goal.
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NOTE: Before the Paralympics, American gymnast George Eyser, who had a wooden leg, competed at the 1904 Summer Olympics, and won three gold medals, two silver and a bronze, including a gold in the vault, an event which then included a jump over a long horse without aid of a springboard. Other amputee medalists at the Olympic Games prior to the creation of the Paralympics include Oliver Halassy of Hungary, whose left leg was amputated below the knee, won three medals (two gold and a silver) in water polo, in 1928, 1932 and 1936 and Karoly Takacs, also of Hungary, won gold in shooting at the 1948 Summer Olympics (his right hand had been "shattered by a grenade" ten years earlier, and he had taught himself to shoot with his left). Also, deaf Hungarian fencer Ildikó Újlaky-Rejtő won two individual medals (a gold and a bronze) and five team medals at the Olympics between 1960 and 1976. Although her Olympic career coincided with the beginning of the Paralympics, she never competed in the latter, because Paralympic fencing is wheelchair fencing.