All professionals need people more successful than them to motivate them to do better. This is no exception to athletes at AUC, as many talented athletes at our university tell of fellow athletes they seek to emulate.
Communication media arts senior Haidy Zakaria, who plays tennis, said that the athlete she most admires is professional tennis player Rafael Nadal.
“The amount of strength, stamina and persistence that he has is amazing,” she explains about her inspiration.
Aside from his sports abilities, Zakaria also admires his attitude when it comes to how he plays.
“He’s always so focused; he knows what he wants and how to get it,” she says.
Ahmed Saafan, a student who plays rugby, had no doubts when it came to who he looks for as a role model in his sport: “For rugby, it is well known that the best player ever is Jonah Lomu.”
Lomu, who played for the New Zealand team, was a part of the team who won the 2011 Rugby Tournament in New Zeland. Saafan explained how legendary Lomu is known as a rugby player, explaining that “each century we can only have one Lomu.”
Saafan additionally explained what makes Lomu such a talented player, telling how in rugby, most talented players are either really fast or really big.
What makes Lomu special, he elucidated, is that “he is really big, around 125 kilos, but at the same time he is the fastest guy on the field.”
Saafan explained how Lomu can run 100 meters in 10.4 seconds, a record that is very difficult for a guy with Lomu’s weight to set.
“That is why he is brilliant,” Saafan continued, drawing connections to Lomu and rugby players at AUC. “At AUC you have guys who weight a lot, but do not run fast, and you also have guys who run fast but do not weight a lot. But Lomu has both.”
Not all student said that famous athletes are those who they looked up to and sought to emulate when it came to the sport they played.
Engineering student Kareem Abdoul Waffa, who used to play track and field, said that he does look for inspiration in athletes, but fame is not an issue.
“It doesn’t matter what your position is, a high school counselor-turned-track-coach for instance. Anyone can inspire you just from their achievements not their fame,” he says.
He explained that it is for these reasons that he admires his high school coach: “He’s over sixty years old and trained a few college athletics back in America and went to the Olympics. For his age, he is extremely fit and can run a mile as fast as me or faster.”
Having a role model is helpful in setting goals and striving to be better at any skill or activity, and AUC athletes owe a lot to those who are their source for inspiration.