Persistence and motivation will always give you what you need to compete at a high level even if your goals are “impossible” or unheard of. Below is one such story of an Olympic swimmer who according to the experts did a remarkable feat. This story was copied from the United States Olympic Committee Curriculum Series. Good Stuff.

sd_morales_large3Pablo Morales’ parents grew up in Cuba. His mother, Bianca, liked to swim for recreation. Eight years before Pablo was born, Bianca nearly drowned while swimming off a beach in Havana. Glad to be alive, she vowed to teach each one of her children to swim at an early age.

In 1956, eight years before Pablo was born, the Morales family emigrated from Cuba to the United States. When Pablo was born, Bianca was still making sure her kids could swim. Pablo took to swimming with a passion. His love for it went way beyond recreational swimming. Pablo was a competitor – the 100-meter butterfly was his specialty.

Pablo was determined and steadfast in his goal to become a world-class Olympic swimmer. That persistence paid off in the 1984 Olympics, which were held in Los Angeles, California. He won the silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly. Although enormously pleased to win a medal, he was somewhat disappointed in not taking the gold.

After failing to  make the team for the 1988 Olympics, Pablo retired from competitive swimming and went on to law school. While there, his mother died after a long battle with cancer. The death of his mother rekindled his desire to compete again. After all, her own persistence in teaching him how to swim was what started his career in swimming. He put law school on hold; he would try to make the 1992 Olympic team.

Again, Pablo’s persistence paid off. He showed the same determination and steadfastness that marked his first Olympic effort some eight years earlier. It all came down to one last race in Barcelona, Spain – the 100-meter butterfly. Pablo touched the wall three one-hundredths of a second ahead of his closest competitor. The gold medal was his – by less than half a finger’s length.

What impressive feats are you preparing for?


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