It takes a lot of training and effort to be part of the Olympics. The mere fact that you have been chosen to represent your country in such a prestigious sporting event is, in itself, a huge accomplishment. What is impressive are the stories that show the true Olympic spirit. Here is exactly where Abdul Baser Wasiqi comes in.
Abdul Baser Wasiqi was the lone representative for Afghanistan for the 1996 Olympics. Unfortunately, he injured himself right before the marathon and limped his way through. By the time he arrived at the finish line, the stadium was preparing for closing.
What Happened to Wasiqi During the Marathon?
Abdul Baser Wasiqi was the lone Afghan athlete at the 1996 Olympics. Before the Marathon started, he injured his hamstring and could not run as planned at the event. He still took part in the marathon despite his injury. Unfortunately, he could not keep up with the pack. He finished last at 4 hours 24 minutes and 17 seconds.
What was remarkable is the fact that he limped his way through the entire run—showing quite the dedication and utmost Olympic spirit ever to be seen at the time.
When Wasiqi reached the finish line, the workmen of the stadium were already laying out the tarp in preparation for the closing of the day’s events. Initially, there were plans to move him to the nearby practice track, but officials decided to let him finish the race on the same track instead. (Source: Tampa Bay Times)
What Other Memorable Events Happend in the 1996 Olympics?
People remembered during the 1996 Olympics the technology and modernity used by big brand names like Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and CNN. It was an entire production where new Olympic events were introduced, heroic athletic achievements were appreciated, and the recognition of great sporting careers. The 1996 Olympics was quite a memorable one. Here are some of the events that truly made a mark in society;
Champions Light the Lamp
During the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics, more than 10,000 athletes participated in the parade of nations. There were about 83,000 attendees, including US Presidents Clinton and Carter.
Muhammad Ali was asked to conclude the opening ceremony for his attachment to the city the Olympics was held at. Ali fought his first comeback fight in Atlanta. While his hands and forearms were shaking during the time, because of Parkinson’s, he was still able to light the Olympic cauldron with the torch passed to him. (Souce: Paste Magazine)
A young sprinter from Baylor University by the name of Michael Johnson won two gold medals for the 200 and 400-meter dashes. Aside from winning gold, he also broke the records held for these events. He was the first man to win both events in the same Olympics. (Souce: Paste Magazine)
Naim Süleymano, a relatively small man from Bulgaria, won three Olympic gold medals. He stood at 4 feet and 10 inches and weighed about 132 pounds. He is the first weightlifter to lift almost three times his body weight with a swift clean and jerk. He was given the nickname Pocket Hercules. (Souce: Paste Magazine)