Thursday, 31 December 2015

Karoly Takacs - A Hero, An Inspiration


Karoly Takacs is an excellent example of the infinite capabilities of the human will power. Despite being a right-handed person, he won two Olympic golds in 25m rapid fire pistol event, both with his left hand, after his right hand got injured in a faulty grenade explosion.

Born in Budapest in Hungary in 1910, Takacs had become a world class pistol shooter by 1936. He was however denied the opportunity to represent Hungary in the 1936 Summer Olympics on the grounds that he was a sergeant in the Army and only commissioned officers were allowed to compete. In 1938 however, the prohibition was lifted and he had hopes of winning the gold at the 1940 Olympics scheduled to be held in Tokyo.
And then came the fateful day. During an Army training, a faulty grenade exploded, which completely shattered Takacs' right hand. In a moment, all his dreams were shattered. Now he had the following options left before him:

1. Give up shooting : The easiest option. No one would have raised an eyebrow had he decided to do this. He had already earned a lot of sympathy.

2. Continue shooting with his left hand and live his dream :
A noble, yet difficult choice. He would have had to fight many people who would say that he can't do it.


He spent a month in the hospital. I don't know what was going on his mind in that one month. But, after getting out, he decided that his dreams are too strong too be killed by a single grenade. He started practicing with his left hand in secret.

One year later Karoly resurfaced at a National shooting championship in Hungary. His colleagues were delighted to see him and complimented him on his courage to come up at the championship to cheer for them. But Károly surprised them by saying he was there to compete with them. And he won. One year after losing his right hand and he trained himself and won. Who in the world except Károly himself would have thought this was even possible. People who believe in facts will never be able to explain this. Facts leave no room for possibilities.

Then came the real test, the Olympics. But unfortunately, the Olympics of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled due to World War II. Hence, Karoly had to wait for 8 long years for the D-day. But the day finally came. He took the world by surprise, by winning the gold at the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London, defeating the favourite Argentine Carlos Enrique Díaz Sáenz Valiente, who was the reigning world champion at that time.

In 1952, he removed the slightest doubt that anyone had on his capabilities by defending his gold. His story has given him a place among the "Olympic heroes" of the International Olympic Committee.

He is the answer to all those who say that they can't. His story is testimony to the infinite powers of the human spirit. I hope you feel a bit inspired after reading it.

Sources:
Karoly Takacs
The Best Real Life Motivational Story - Karoly Takacs

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