The Olympics are always an inspiration to many young athletes hoping to find themselves on the podium at some point in their future. However, at the 2012 Olympics, the inspiration went so much further. Some of the athletes participating, and even winning, battled large obstacles to even earn a spot at the Olympics. These athletes were truly an inspiration.
Oscar Pistorius was the talk of the Olympics in London. Pistorius was born without the fibula bone in his legs and had his lower legs amputated as a baby. He competed and won medals in the Paralympics but his goal was to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympics. After undergoing numerous tests to make sure his "blades" did not give him an unfair advantage against other athletes, Pistorius was given the green light to compete for a spot on the Olympic team and he competed in the individual 400 and the 4X400 relay in London.
Seeing Pistorius on the track in London was not only an inspiration for disabled athletes around the world, but an inspiration for anyone. He showed that with determination, anything was possible. He may not have come close to winning a medal in London but his mere presence on the track was award-winning in my opinion.
Bryshon Nellum was a track star and named the Gatorade track and field athlete of the year in 2007. The Olympics were definitely in his future. However, on Halloween in 2008, Nellum would face his biggest obstacle.
Nellum was the victim of shooting and received shotgun wounds to both his thighs and his right hamstring. Doctors were confident he would walk again but did not think running at his level would ever be an option.
Well, Nellum proved those doctors wrong at the 2012 London Games where he reached the semifinal in the men's 400 and helped Team USA win silver in the 4X400 relay. He was also chosen by fellow teammates to carry the American flag at the closing ceremonies.
While all the athletes at the 2012 Olympics were an inspiration and deserve great credit for their accomplishments, these two men faced obstacles that could have very well caused them to give up their dreams. However, they both pushed forward and showed the world that anything is possible.
Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and avid sports and Olympics fan. She now works as a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the Olympics and NFL and brings her love of sports to her writing. Follow her on Twitter @fwcdeborah.