Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Oct 2018 14:24:57


By nitin bakshi,

Today’s article about Karoly Takacs will certainly enlighten our thought process to such an extent that we might feel that ‘you are not defeated in life until defeat is accepted as a reality’.


Friends, it is always fascinating to peep in to the lives of some of the outstanding sportsmen world over. Carl Luis, Magic Johnson, Vivian Richards, Bjorn Borg, Sachin Tendulkar, Pele, Mohammad Ali, Gary Kasparov, Michel Phelps are the few names, who have become legends in their respective field because of the exceptional commitment and sheer hard work. The records created by these gentlemen on the field, are practically very difficult to break for the sportsman of the next generations.

The above names are quite familiar with the people who have been following these sports for last 30/40 years. But there are certain sportsmen, who excelled in their field prior to the year 1950 by going through extremely difficult situation, are unknown to the current generation. Karoly Takacs is one such name whose heroics must be acknowledged by not just the sportsmen, but by every youngster who keeps on giving excuses one after the other to defend his failures. These youngsters never realize that instead of giving excuses it would be better to concentrate on the things which are available with him.

The feats of Karoly Takacs in the area of shooting will leave you speechless and will practically force you to rethink your beliefs. Karoly was working in the Hungarian Army. He was interested in shooting was had been nursing the dream of Olympic gold medal. It was the period of 1938. By now Karoly had become the top shooter of the country having won numerous national as well as international tournaments. He was being looked up to as the gold medal winning prospect of Hungary in the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in 1940. Karoly himself was fired up for the Olympic Games.

Then there was a disaster in the life of Karoly, which completely turned his life upside down. During an army training session, a hand grenade exploded in the hand of Karoly. His shooting hand (right hand) was blown away by the explosion. It was nothing less than a catastrophe for young Karoly. In fact that was the end of the Olympic dream seen by him. He was completely shattered after this shock.

What would have been a normal reaction of any sportsman to this kind of dream-shattering accident? He would have cursed the Almighty for choosing him alone for this kind of tragedy and would have felt dejected. He would have pitied himself for not being able to do anything.

Well, Karoly was made of different metal. He was a born fighter. He had developed different mind-set during his tenure with the Army. He had lost his shooting hand. But he had no time to waste on what had happened to him. He decided to focus rather on that particular thing which he had not lost. He said to himself that he had lost only his right hand. His left hand was very much in order. He thought that if he practices with all sincerity with his left hand, he would probably be able to shoot as perfectly as he used shoot with his right hand.

Once he recovered from all injuries which he suffered during that accident, he made up his mind and left for a quiet place to resume his practice in all seriousness this time with his left hand. He practiced shooting day in and day out for one complete year with left hand. The level of his focus was astonishing. Despite the pain in the body and mental frustration at the initial stage of the training for not being able to hit the target with his left hand, his unflinching faith in his own ability finally paid off.

After a period of one and half year, there was national shooting championship in Hungary. All colleagues of Karoly were there to participate. They were pleasantly surprised to see Karoly at the shooting range. Thinking that Karoly had come to cheer them up, they offered him words of encouragement too. When they heard the name of Karoly being announced as a participant, they all were stunned. it was the turn of a real fighter Karoly Takacs to show that nothing is lost if you have fighting spirit.

Everybody in the spectators’ gallery cheered Karoly loudly for his gallant fight-back with the destiny. To the surprise of one and all, Karoly won the national shooting championship shooting with left hand. All his colleagues were amazed by the ease with which Karoly shot with his left hand to become champion. Karoly took the wise decision to practice in a quiet place where there would not anybody to scoff at him for being too adventures. It is very easy for people to laugh at you for having a lofty dream. It is always better to overlook this kind of group in the society. Karoly did the right thing by keeping himself aloof to accomplish his giant ambition. Friends, this was the beginning of the journey for Karoly.

To make matter worse, next two Olympic games were cancelled due to world war. But Karoly was determination personified. He waited for eight long years to realise his long cherished dream. In 1948, in the London Olympic, it was Karoly Takacs representing Hungary in 25 meter rapid fire event. Now you would come to know what Karoly was all about. While shooting with his left hand, he was confident. His eyes had no shades of fear or failure. Yes friends, he claimed the gold medal in London Olympic. He did not stop there. Four years later, it was Helsinki Olympics. It was Karoly again, shooting with his left hand, who went on to clinch the gold medal again.

Friends, this was Karoly Takacs. He never allowed any adversity in the life to suppress him or his ambition. Imagine this kind of tragedy with any sportsman and you would readily agree that he would have called it quit. After reading about Karoly Takacs, the youngsters must make up their mind that they should focus on what they are having rather than what they are not having. We can still accomplish impossible dreams with whatever little we are having with us. When we feel that we are about to achieve something, life takes our severe test by some unexpected events. That event simply shatters our dream completely and we feel helpless. Today’s article about Karoly Takacs will certainly enlighten our thought process to such an extent that we might feel that “you are not defeated in life until defeat is accepted as a reality”.
(The author is Director, The First Step, Akola and can be reached at [email protected])