Persistence is Incompatible with Failure

June 16, 2017

Persistence is incompatible with failure... and here's why:


“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”


Michael Jordan, extraordinary Basketball player.


It was late night at the main track and field stadium at 1968 Mexico City Olympics.


The crowd were dispersing having welcomed the winner of the men's Marathon to run the final lap which completed the event.  They had clapped each and every athlete finishing the most gruelling and punishing of the Olympic events.  As the crowd filed out from the stadium into the dark streets, word started to circulate that one runner was still struggling to complete the last of the 26.2 mile course.  Other Olympians and some of the crowd came back to see if it were true.  


John Stephen Akhwari from Tanzania hobbled slowly and unsteadily into the lights of the Olympic Stadium, pain filled his every step and blood rand down his bandaged leg.  The assembled crowd cheered with appreciation the lone runner.  He stayed on his feet after finishing to acknowledge those that had come to cheer him on his final lap.  When asked why he had continued the race, knowing that he would finish way behind the others, he simply answered


"My country did not send me 5,000 miles to Mexico City to start the race, they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."


John Stephen Akhwari


The international Olympic Committee honoured him at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for his courageous finish 32 years previously.


“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”


Matt Biondi, swimming legend, eleven-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in five events


Do not give up, be persistent and take charge of your own path. 


“Come to the edge," he said.
"We can't, we're afraid!" they responded.
"Come to the edge," he said.
"We can't, we will fall!" they responded.
"Come to the edge," he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.”

Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet and writer



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