98-year-old former water polo player, Sandor Tarics, reflects on the Olympics experience and has some wise words for the newest members of the exclusive Olympics club
LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 11, 2012) (REUTERS) -Achieving the Olympic dream of gold will stand the London 2012 crop in good stead according to former Hungarian water polo player Sandor Tarics. He too became an Olympic champion as a young man of 23 and his moment of glory came at the Berlin Games of 1936.
Tarics, whose team travelled to Nazi Germany and beat the host nation to the gold, is the oldest surviving Olympic champion at 98 years old. And his enthusiasm for the Games has scarcely dimmed in almost eight decades.
"The Olympic spirit is rooted in human nature, it's our nature that we want to excel, and do what we are doing better and better, and that is human nature, it cannot be killed, and that's what keeps the Olympics going," Tarics told Reuters TV on the final weekend of the Games.
Tadics, who forged a new life for himself in the U.S. and pursued a successful career as an engineer, believes his experience of athletic competition laid the groundwork for any subsequent achievements.
"Other things, what I have done in my life was tremendously affected by the Olympic experience. There's no question about that. You have learned that in life you always should have a fantasy, a dream, a direction which you want to go. If you don't have that then you are like a boat without a rudder, and wind takes you anywhere it wants to go, not where you want to go. So you should have a dream, and then pursue that dream and follow that dream, then everything will be alright. And if you don't succeed, change the dream," said Tadics.
"Don't let circumstances beat you, because if you give up an effort, you beat yourself."