So……sporting heroes !
Everyone has one sporting hero. Right ? Some people might have more than one for different reasons. It might be for what they have achieved in their sporting career, what they have supported outside their sport, ie charities, schools, politics, etc. And for some, for their good looks (not a great reason but a reason we cannot ignore after all)! Some heroes are teams, some are individuals, men and women. Now let’s look at mine:
Jesse Owens – track and field Olympic legend by winning four gold medals. The major story of these results is that Jesse Owens was a black man winning gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, under Nazi Germany. Someone in the crowd wasn’t happy ! Carl Lewis – Another track and field legend. Winner of 9 Olympic gold medals, 8 World Championship gold medals and many more. Mostly remembered for winning 4 gold medals in one Olympic game, at home, 1984 Los Angeles USA. What games ! I was 10 years old back then and I can remember watching Carl Lewis taking over the world like it happened yesterday. Sir Steve Redgrave – British Rower winning 5 gold medals over 6 different Olympic games! With the first medal won in LA 1984 and the last one at the 2000 Sydney games. That’s 16 years at the top level! What an amazing achievement! What a inspiration Sir Redgrave has been. The three above are sporting heroes, not just because of their oustanding sporting achievements but because they have individually written part of the Olympic history that will not be forgotten. I have many more sporting heroes, in different sports at different level, for different reasons, but one important hero of mine is this person below This person was a top national French sprinter back in the early 70s, finishing 3rd at the French Championship and earning a very good time of 10’5s in the 100m in 1970. This person carried on competing at top level athletics for many years, while at the same time, teaching and coaching kids within the sport. I happened to be one of those kids, taking on the sport at an early age, learning and enjoying (sometimes hating!) training and various individual regional and national team competitions. The relationship between coach and myself hasn’t always been easy, we now live at opposite side of the world but still keep in touch. To this day, I always look up to him and think about what he would say when I’m struggling in an event, shouting words of encouragement that would give me a spark of energy. I can still remember the exact words he would use back then, in the olden days, like my kids call them!
Its worth mentioning that this hero of mine completed in his mid 50s, two years in a row, “Le Grand Raid Reunion”. A trail running race covering 164km including just under 10km of climbs !!!! WHAT THE HELL ! This is crazy racing at its best. If any of you readers fancy it, be my guest but don’t ask me to join you! This is the link for the event http://www.grandraid-reunion.com
It’s amazing and interesting how people look up to someone, whether it gives positive or negative results. We almost need that role model feeling in our lives. In sport, role models and heroes are very important to help people push themselves to their limit, to help people learn and get inspired to achieve their goals and dreams and most importantly, to realise that anything is possible!
I am happy to say that my hero is now my coach again.
Dad, papa, YOU are my sporting hero