What is the greatest upset in sports history?
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I won’t say it’s the greatest upset in sports history, but since Steve Bradbury is mentioned and this is basically pulling a Bradbury at the time… Cliff Young.
Every year, Australia hosts 543.7-mile (875-kilometer) endurance racing from Sydney to Melbourne. It is considered among the world’s most grueling ultra-marathons. The race takes five days to complete and is normally only attempted by world-class athletes who train specially for the event.
In 1983, a man named Cliff Young showed up at the start of this race. Cliff was 61 years old and wore overalls and work boots. To everyone’s shock, Cliff wasn’t a spectator. He picked up his race number and joined the other runners.
All of the professional athletes knew that it took about 5 days to finish the race. In order to compete, one had to run about 18 hours a day and sleep the remaining 6 hours.
Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record.
When Cliff was awarded the winning prize of $10,000, he said he didn’t know there was a prize and insisted that he did not enter for the money. He ended up giving all of his winnings to several other runners, an act that endeared him to all of Australia.
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Wow! Talking about a stunning paradigm shifting story.
I’ve never heard of it before. Or all the collateral observations.
Stunning that there can be that much of an upset in anything.
What other things could we do, if we didn’t have pre-conceived notions of what is possible?
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