Find out why “last will be first.” In Sochi this phrase came to life in the snow, with the story of the athlete who became famous for finishing last.
Despite the fact that money occupies a large part of the headlines on great events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup, the spirit of competing and giving the maximum with a dignified performance should never lose relevance. Such is the case of the Peruvian skier Roberto Carcelén.
The 43-year-old Carcelén competed in cross-country skiing 15 kilometers at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a test he expected to complete in two hours. She had promised her family that it would be the last performance of her professional career: “The last and we are leaving,” as those who do not want to leave the party say.
If you started it, you have to finish it; if it’s in one piece, better
Roberto Carcelén was not 100% to face the test in Sochi: just a few days before starting his competition, he had broken two ribs while competing in Austria. In addition, he had a strong flu picture, to the extent that the doctors had advised him to desist and not participate in the Winter Olympics. Whoops! At least that doesn’t make me want to get up early on Mondays.
But Carcelén’s mentality was stronger than any physical pain: he finished the test in 87th place, with a record of 1 hour, 6 minutes, 28 seconds and 9 tenths. That is, the time I had calculated improved. She occupied the last position but was above five skiers who did not finish the test. This is having your skis on well, and not nonsense.
The Sochi crowd cheered on the Peruvian to the end, inspired by his fierceness and knowing that he was competing with broken ribs. During the last five kilometers of the competition, Roberto was skiing alone, but accompanied by the applause and shouts of support from the fans, who encouraged him not to give up.
“I am very satisfied. I felt a lot of pain in the race. It was very difficult. But now I feel very happy. It was hot, the snow was very slippery. But the ending has been fantastic. A few dozen Peruvians were here and gave me inspiration. It was the last test of my career. Now I want to work with children, teach them to ski and help them get into some Games, “said Roberto at the end of the competition.
Carcelén had said that he would return to Seattle, where he lives, immediately after the test was over to be evaluated by a doctor. But now, with his story of bravery, he is one of the characters most demanded by the press.
In life as in sport, being the last also counts
Perhaps it is worth reflecting on the feat of this athlete not only for its anecdotal value, but in order to rescue some lessons for life. No matter how strong the icy winds, contrasting the vicissitudes of life, or even as terrible as physical pain becomes, always keeping up with who we are, will undoubtedly lead us to be even greater.
Vince Lombardi, a former NFL coach, once said that “winning isn’t everything: it’s the only thing.” And of course he is right, but we must never forget that, both in life and in sport, keeping a promise and putting oneself to the test is what leads us to unimaginable feats.
When your children or yourself play a sport, keep winning in mind, of course. But, in life as well as in sport, the intention to compete fairly, overcoming challenges and without cheating, is the true spirit of any event. The only thing I do recommend is not to apply the “last will be first” when you arrive at your mother-in-law’s party or some important family event: surely it will not cause so much grace there.