When All Hope Is Lost

Károly Takács was born in Budapest Hungary in 1910. As a member of the Hungarian Army, he became a world-class pistol shooter. He had hoped to shoot for Hungary in the 1936 Olympics but was denied because he was only a sergeant. When the commissioned officers only requirement was lifted, Károly had set his hopes on the 1940 Olympics.

During a training session, a grenade exploded prematurely and Károly lost use of his shooting hand. All hopes of Olympic Medal were lost, people thought; but not Károly. What few people knew was that Károly started to practice shooting with his left hand.

When the Hungarian National Pistol Championships were held in 1939, the shooters were delighted to see that Károly had arrived to encourage them. What they didn’t realize was that he came there to compete. At first, the other shooters were pitying him, but not for long. They couldn’t believe it when shot after shot hit the bullseye. Károly won the championship.

Next, Károly set his hopes on an Olympic Gold Medal, but his hopes were dashed when the 1940 Olympics were cancelled due to World War II. But all was not lost, so Károly set his hopes on the 1944 Olympics. Unfortunately the 1944 Olympics were also cancelled.

When the 1948 Olympics were held in London, Károly was 38 and considered too old to be a viable competitor. But Károly had other thoughts. His long-standing hope was realized when he not only won the Gold Medal but also set a world record.

For many, having a fervent hope realized would be enough, but that wasn’t the case for Károly. He also won the Gold Medal in the 1952 Olympics.

‘When all hope is lost’ is a familiar phrase to all of us, but hope is never lost if we have faith in ourselves and a dedication to achieve the hope we want so much. Sure there are cases where our hopes may never be achieved, not because a lack of will but due to circumstances beyond our control. But hopes can still remain and can be a driving force in our lives. The ultimate outcome is not as important as the effect that striving to achieve the hope says about who we are. Károly Takács would be no less of a person if he had not won the Gold Medal. Working toward the hope he set for himself was what defined him.

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“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”  – Babe Ruth

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