It takes fire in ones stomach to become the absolute best in their field. Passion, desire to succeed and the will to become the best play a major part in that, along with talent and hard work. The Bolts and the Tendulkars are rightfully called ‘once in a lifetime’ sportsmen, who have proved time and again that there can be no comparisons; that they truly are the best in what they do. Now comes the end game, what’s next?
If you’d ask an employee, their end game is retirement, to sit back and relax. For some who thrive on challenges, and new opportunities, that is simply not an option. You cannot expect Phelps to sit back and take everything easy now that he has shattered records, and has nothing else to prove. You’re almost guaranteed that every time he goes out, he’s going to bring his A-game. Then there are others who have tried their hands at something else, some sport they’re not so good at. And as they say, it’s not the winning that matters as much as trying. And certain recent events have caught some attention with sportsmen boldly claiming their interests.
Recently, the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, claimed that he would be interested in trying out for the EPL Club Manchester United. It was always known that Bolt was a big Manchester United fan, but no one in their right minds would have expected him to make such a bold claim. The interest it generated was massive, with tweets from Manchester United players such as Rooney and Ferdinand to Bolt, either cheering him on to have a try out, or just poking fun at the statement in a friendly way. The Twitter world was abuzz with speculations and rumours.
The second such claim took place as recently as Friday, when Yohan Blake came out saying he’d like to play in the next edition of IPL, and wants to bowl out the little maestro Sachin Tendulkar. Of course, when some youngster claims such a thing in cricket, we conclude it to be ludicrous, someone trying to make a name for themselves, but when it comes from someone who gave Bolt a run from his money, you’d think some hallucinogens were being passed on to both the athletes.
But seriously, this gives rise to an important question: When you’ve conquered it all, what do you do next? Do you go back to the starting point and do it all over, or do you try to conquer the next challenge? If history is any indication, these two athletes aren’t the first ones, and won’t be the last either.
Everyone who is even remotely into Basketball would know who Michael Jordan is; of course, they wouldn’t be fans of the game if they didn’t know who he was. Many also know that MJ (Not the King of Pop, but the King of Basketball) is also a big Golf fan. Very few would know that Woods and MJ had a game in ’97; and when it comes to air time, MJ’s shots are equal to his hang time when he was at his peak. And people would be even more surprised to know that MJ had tried his hand even in pro Baseball, but it didn’t go as well as he would have liked it.
The other such legendary figure is the German Speed demon, Michael Schumacher, who inspite of being rated second best F-1 racer of all time, is also an avid football fan, and also played for a second tier team of the Swiss Football League! Although Schumi won’t be remembered for his bicycle kicks, he once again proved that there is indeed no end to a person’s dream; their ambitions of conquering different worlds, different sports. It doesn’t take much to make claims; it takes a character to set new goals, new ambitions. After all, if we were satisfied with the theory that the Earth was flat, we’d be far far away from the advancements we’ve made.
So it leaves us with one question, what does it take to fulfill a person’s desire? The answer is not as simple as the question, and we can only imagine the next such sporting great who is courageous enough to make a bold claim, would follow up on his word.