The Olympics is that one time every four years where the whole world comes together to watch the best athletes of the world make their countries proud. Let’s celebrate some of the best Olympians who overcame adversity with these inspirational stories of Olympic athletes.
Olympic Stories of Courage
These inspirational stories of disabled athletes in Olympics will leave you teary-eyed and filled with motivation.
Oliver had his left leg amputated below his knee due to a childhood car accident. This did not stop him from training vigorously and making it to Hungarian Olympic water polo team. He helped his team bag the silver medal in 1928. They also went on to win the gold medal consecutively in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. The ultimate highlight of his career was when he scored 7 goals alone against Japan in the Olympics.
Neroli was paralysed from the waist down because of a motorcycle accident. Her story is probably one of the most inspirational female athletes' stories. The New Zealand archer competed in a wheelchair at the 1982 Commonwealth Games and went on to win the gold medal. She also participated in the 1984 Olympics. There are many other disabled athletes who have followed her lead since then, including Sinia Vettenburg and Zahra Nemanti. Zahra, the Iranian archer, became the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics and Paralympics.
Chris Mears became the first person to win a gold medal in diving for Britain. Seven years before he competed, he was diagnosed with a life threatening virus called Epstein-Barr. He was told there was only a 5% chance he would survive. He also suffered from a ruptured spleen in 2009 and had to have it removed. He was back with a bang in 2010 and finished fourth at the Commonwealth Games.
U.S. swimmer Jeff Float was declared legally deaf at infancy due to viral meningitis. He competed with his team in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics in 4 x 200 freestyle relay. He swam the third leg for his team. They went on to win the gold medal. He was followed by South Africa’s Terrence Parker, who was also deaf. Terrence won the silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Jim was chosen to represent the U.S baseball team in the 1988 Seoul Oympics even though he was born without a right hand. He helped his team secure a gold against Japan in the finals. He continued to have an exhilarating 10-year career thereafter in the major leagues.