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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Alan of Australia Lyr Add: The World's Slowest Swimmer (6) The World's Slowest Swimmer 09 Oct 00

One of the nicest little stories to come out of the Olympics was the following. The heat concerned was replayed several times on TV & reported in all the newspapers here.

From The Daily Telegraph, 20 Sept 2000:-

Slowest swimmer hero of the pool

He tookthe longest time to complete the 100m freestyle, but the man who only learned to swim nine months ago was the hero of the Olympic pool yesterday.

Eric Moussambani, from the tiny central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, only took up the sport in January and had never raced in a 50m pool before when he made his country's Olympic swimming debut.

He was forced to swim his heat alone after the two other wildcard entrants, Karim Bare from Niger and Farkhood Oripov from Tajikistan, were disqualified for false starting.

Moussambani, 22, who trains in crocodile and snake-infested rivers near his home in inland Molabu, swam with his head out of the water to rapturous applause from the crowd.

He battled valiantly to stop the clock in 1 min 52.72 seconds - longer than it takes Ian Thorpe to swim 200m freestyle - and was given a standing ovation for his effort.


By Alan Foster
Tune: Charots of Fire

The world's slowest swimmer Eric Moussambani
Came to the Olympics that were held in Sydney
He'd never before seen a pool of this size
He'd done all his training among crocodiles.

He'd only been swimming since January
Now he's representing his mother country
With two other swimmers he entered his heat
But the other two swimmers broke leaving no one to beat.

He swam the first length and just as he'd learned
Though failing in strength he tumbled and turned
He swam and he struggled, his limbs they did tire
But the song in his head was "The Chariots Of Fire".

With courage undaunted on that lonely swim
He went the full distance. The crowd cheered for him
And now he's a hero, he's known the world wide
He's swum for his country, for honour and pride.

And while you're competing in life's weary race
You may never aspire to that gold medal place
But you're always a winner if you do your best
Just remember our hero and you'll pass the test.


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