John Stephen Akhwari represented his country Tanzania to compete in the marathon and had made history in the 1968 Mexican Olympics. This was not because of the fact that he won the marathon that he participated in, but that he finished it.
Now of course, most Olympic athletes finish the race; but this man was something different altogether.
This was what happened as described by a narrator:
"It was almost 7pm in Mexico City, October 1968. One hour earlier the winners of the 26 mile Olympic marathon had crossed the finish line. It had been a grueling hot day as the high altitude affected all the athletes. The sky was beginning to darken and most of the stadium was empty. As the last few spectators were preparing to leave, police sirens and flashing lights caught their attention. A lone runner, wearing the colours of Tanzania had just emerged through the stadium gate. Limping, with his leg bandaged he found the last of his endurance to step up his pace and finish the race. His name was John Stephen Akhwari."
In the early parts of the race, Stephen had fallen and badly cut his knee and dislocated his joint. However, despite the injury, he still pressed on and finished the race as the last person of the 57 competitors who finished.
When asked why he chose to carry on despite his injury, he made a most simple but powerful statement:
“My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish.”
His story of perseverance has touched countless lives. He was named the King without a crown. Truly, his story of perseverance is something that all of us should learn from.
While not all of us can become top athletes like Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt, but all of us can have that spirit of persistence like John Stephen Akhwari. You may not have the talent of the top people in your field, but you can always have the same spirit and character that all great men possess.
As a leader, having that same spirit of persistence is important because it will be probably the most important factor that will help you succeed. No matter how many times you fail, you will succeed eventually if you do not give up.
This video on leadership perseverance has touched many people and I believe that it will touch the people that you show it to too. I hope that this video will bless you as much as it has blessed me.
»The Lost Generation
» Rules for an Extraordinary Life
» The Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams
» Finding Joy Movie
» Martin Luther King Jr: A Video on Servant Leadership
» A Vision For Students Today
» John Stephen Akhwari: Finish the Race
» The Patience Principle
» Nick Vujicic - Life without Limbs
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