How an Olympic swimmer nearly drowned but accidentally set a world record – NerdFAQs 06

How an Olympic swimmer nearly drowned but accidentally set a world record  – NerdFAQs 06


NARRATOR: He was assigned to present the country
in swimming. The problem was that he didn’t know how
to swim. So he started to learn. He swam in his first swimming pool only four
months before the Olympics at the local hotel in his hometown. That is Olympic swimmer Eric Moussambani. He was trying very hard not to drown. And everyone else was worried that he might. Now, you are probably wondering how he got
himself in this situation. It all started a year ago in Equatorial Guinea,
a country in central Africa. It was a developing country and lacked many
of the proper training facilities you might find in other places. One day, there was an ad on the radio asking
for people to show up if they were interested in participating in
the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Other wealthier nations would not do this. But because of a wildcard system designed
to help low-income nations get into the Olympics, basically anyone can apply, even if they don’t
meet the standard requirements. Eric Moussambani heard the radio ad, and was
the only one who showed up. When he arrived in Sydney, he saw an Olympic-sized
swimming pool for the first time. To put this into perspective, an Olympic pool
is 50 meters long, while the hotel swimming pool he practiced
in was only 12 meters. He knew that he probably wasn’t going to
win. But he didn’t know that he was about to
make Olympic history. As he was ready to race in the largest pool
he had ever seen, something strange happened. Everyone else had a false start and was disqualified. Everyone, that is, except for Moussambani. Even though he was guaranteed to finish in
first place, he still had to swim. And swim, he did. Or at least, until halfway through. He struggled down the stretch. The crowd, which was laughing a bit beforehand,
started to worry that he might be the first Olympic swimmer
to drown during his race. They started cheering him on. COMMENTATOR 1: I’m not sure he’s going
to make it. Is he…? COMMENTATOR 2: No, he is. This is the Olympics. He’s got 17,000 people shouting for him. NARRATOR: Moussambani finished the race, and
set a new record for the longest first-place swim in Olympic history. And thus, he earned the nickname “Eric the Eel.” He didn’t qualify for the next round and
never made the Olympics again. But that didn’t stop him. In 2012, he became the coach of Equatorial
Guinea’s national swimming squad. And thanks to the attention he got, the country
now has two Olympic-sized swimming pools. And with his coaching, perhaps one day, we
will see his name in the Olympics once again. Believe it or not, this is not the most embarrassing
moment for the Olympic Games. One time, they burned a bunch of birds alive
during the opening ceremonies. Click on the video to see how in the world
that happened.

3 Replies to “How an Olympic swimmer nearly drowned but accidentally set a world record – NerdFAQs 06”

  1. "The longest 1st place win in Olympic history."

    Not really a record to be proud of. I'm guessing he could have doggy paddled there and back and he would have still won without opposition.

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