As it’s Olympics week we thought we’d have a look at ‘Olympian values’. Read these inspirational stories about people who have overcome the odds to achieve their goals.
Liz Murray grew up in the Bronx, New York City. Addicted to drugs, her parents sometimes sold household items in order to get their fix. As a child, Liz hated school because when she did go, she was teased: there was no one to make sure that she showered or got up on time. As Liz grew older, her parents lost their apartment, and she ended up homeless.
Liz was admitted to an alternative high school, the Humanities Preparatory Academy, where she doubled her course-load and completed high school in only two years. One of the top ten students in the school, Liz went on a school-sponsored trip to Boston and ended up being admitted to Harvard, one of America’s top universities.
Mia Hamm was born on March 17, 1972 in Selma Alabama. She was born with a club foot and had to wear corrective shoes as a small child. But that didn’t stop her. She spent most of her life playing sports and was the youngest player ever to join the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team at age fifteen. In 1991, when the women’s national team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time, Hamm became the youngest American woman to win a World Cup championship at the age of nineteen.
Despite losing his vision at the age of 13, Erik Weihenmayer has become one of the celebrated and accomplished athletes in the world. Re-defining what it means to be blind, Erik has transformed the image of blindness and opened up the minds of people around the world. He has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life.
Erik was first introduced to rock climbing at a camp for blind teenagers and soon was climbing more difficult mountains. After he moved to Arizona, he decided to climb Denali in Alaska… and did so. At 20,320 it’s the highest peak in North America.
The challenges grew for Erik. Finally, in late 2004, he climbed with the blind founder and six blind students from the Tibetan school, Braille Without Borders. They hiked to 21,000 feet on a peak on the north side on Mount Everest; the highest altitude ever achieved by blind teenagers.
For more information about Erik and what he’s doing, visit www.touchthetop.com