The fascination exerted by Olympics is based on a self-evident truth. By virtue of 99.9% DNA that the champion has in common with all and every single one of us, his/her victory is ours. I am a passionate sub-mediocre swimmer who claims 23 gold medals mastered by Michael Phelps, because Michael Phelps is 99.9% myself. Michael is the manifestation of those inwardly dormant powers hidden within each of us. It is an argument, as Faulkner says, that man will not only survive but also prevail.
However, my dearest champion in 2016 is not Phelps but a Chinese woman called quasi-anonymously Fan. In the flip-side of Faulkner’s saying, she not only prevailed but did also survive. While Phelps was crowning his fantastic career in Rio, Fan fell from the Royal Caribbean cruise from Shanghai to South Korea and Japan. She continued to struggle with hypothermia, dehydration, fatigue, fear, and desperation for the next 38 hours and, miraculously, prevailed, until was rescued by a fishing vessel.
Fan is a testament about the power of the human spirit in extreme situations. And it is a lesson from which we all have to learn. The challenge for many of us in these times is simply to stay afloat while focusing on the next opportunity at the horizon. This is what Fan did against all odds. Her story tells us that it is within our power, and the power is in our mind.
Fan and Phelps are my favorite champions in 2016. A champion is someone that awakes the champion within each of us.