Olympics fever has gripped the world. No matter how little our interest in sports, the sheer spectacle of near-superhuman athletes, such as Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, demolishing the competition is enough to drive home the incredible heights of personal effort and endurance that human beings are capable of achieving.

But what of the others? What about the many unknowns, many from tiny, extremely poor nations, who manage to prevail against others with access to much greater resources and facilities? What of the thousands of athletes who toil supremely hard in order to compete in the Olympics, to only (like many members of Team India, unfortunately!) get swamped by the opposition, perhaps within seconds of stepping on the greatest stage of all? What does their fate tell us?

Does it take sheer talent to reach the top? Or can determination and hard work carry you to the pinnacle? Which is more essential for success in life and work? Send in your views to thenewmanager@thehindu.co.in with name and city.

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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