Laboring throughout, Sogelau Tuvalu ran the second slowest 100 meter time in the history of the IAAF World Championships this past weekend. And he couldn’t be prouder. Because the 17-year-old shot-putter of American Samoa wasn’t even supposed to be competing in the event, but having failed to qualify in the shot put, he said, “Hey, f*** it! I’m already here.” And he signed up for the 100m race. Now that is the mark of a true badass. Not giving a single f***.
The announcers laughed heartily at Tuvalu’s expense, perhaps misguided about his goals, but also understandably because the scene was quite a spectacle. Prior to the race, betting websites listed Tuvalu’s odds of winning at 50,000 to 1. In other words, the line-setters sooner thought that the remainder of the seven-man field would either collapse during the race, get attacked by a band of unruly birds, stop mid-race to take a huge dump or otherwise fail to complete the 100 meters in less than 15.66 seconds–Tuvalu’s time. That time, by the way, was the young man’s personal best. “I believed in myself,” he said of the effort. “This is a dream come true.” You’ve got to see it.