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. The Olympic Games have given us some great inspirational stories.
Like those of the Olypians you were introduced to In Parts 1, 2 & 3 -- a legally
blind Korean archer, a wheelchair bound Hungarian fencer and a heroic Canadian sailor -- this story about an American athlete is a celebration of focus, intensity, determination and the Olympic spirit.
Six days before competition was to begin in the 1964 Olympic
games, USA discus thrower Al Oerter slipped on a wet concrete discuss circle
and tore rib cartilage on his right side – his throwing side – causing internal
bleeding and severe pain.
Team doctors told him to forget the Games and not throw for
at least 6-weeks. Oerter is quoted as responding, “This is the Olympics. You
die before you quit.”
A week later, Al Oerter broke the Olympic record and
won the gold record.
Oerter competed in 4 consecutive Olympic games, winning the
gold medal each time – a sweep made all the more remarkable because in each
case he broke the Olympic record AND in each case he had to overcome adversity and
was not the favorite to win.
Al Oerter’s drive and determination can serve as a motivator
for you as you are met with obstacles in the pursuit of success. In your career
you will have setbacks; the manner in which you deal with those setbacks will
define your future and your success. You
can let the setbacks take you down or you can learn from them and continue to
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