Eric Moussambani had never been in an Olympic-size pool when he arrived in Australia for the 2000 Sydney Games, his first time outside of Equatorial Guinea.
Imagine his thoughts, then, after the other two swimmers in his 100m freestyle first-round heat false-started, leaving Moussambani to swim alone. To swim farther than he ever had before. And to do it in front of thousands of people at the Sydney Aquatic Centre.
Moussambani, who had trained for three months in a hotel pool no bigger than 20 meters, struggled to complete the distance. So much that people near the pool reportedly contemplated diving in to rescue him in the final meters.