Ethiopia's Etenesh Diro lost her shoe but finished the steeplechase prelim in Rio yesterday.
Etenesh Diro Neda (25) is an Ethiopian athlete. Four years ago she competed in the 3,000 metre steeplechase at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she was placed sixth in the final with a time of 9:19.89, a personal best so far.
Since then, Etenesh Diro has been #ShapingtheOdds to be ready for yesterday's race of the same distance in Rio.
For a runner, #ShapingtheOdds is all about running, running, running and running.
But a steeplechase runner needs to be good at more than just running.
The steeplechase is an obstacle race in athletics, which derives its name from the steeplechase in horse racing. The most popular is the 3,000 metre steeplechase, which includes 28 barriers and seven water jumps.
That means that you also have to be good at jumping heights and lengthens to be #ShapingtheOdds for steeplechase competitions.
Yesterday, Etenesh Diro finished seventh in her steeplechase semifinal heat. She ran the last 800 meters of the race with only one shoe, after having removed it.
She removed it because a competitor fell, causing many accidents since it was difficult for the others to avoid her, and so Diro tried to jump to the side, but her right shoe came loose. As she tried to put the shoe back on, her competitors ran past her. She quickly realized that she would probably be better off running without the shoe, and quickly threw it away.
But running with one shoe on one foot and just a sock on the other wasn't optimal, so she had to stop again to remove her sock, causing her to run the last 800 meters with only one shoe.
In a way, this is a typical #startup story. An entrepreneur with extraordinary skills in one area creates a startup business where he or she has an advantage over competitors.
But in all those #startup stories, “something” happened. Something they had not foreseen, or simply bad luck like in this case.
An entrepreneur finds very often that even if he does his job perfectly, final success depends on so many factors that he or she is not in control of. Even if the entrepreneur has made the best budget and plan for the future, random external factors may make it obsolete the very next day.
#ShapingtheOdds is all about the analytical, mental and practical preparations you need to do in order to improve your chances of success.
You need to be great at what you do.
But in an ever-changing world, more often than not, that is not enough. It is about expecting the unexpected, and to be able to deal with it.
#improvise, in real-time..
It must have been a shock to Diro when she found herself in a situation she had never anticipated, 800 meters before the finishing line. Seconds before, she was probably sure she could win the steeplechase prelim. But due to someone else falling, she not only lost her good position, she also faced the problem with her shoe, and needed to make a decision there and then. She needed to improvise.
Diro was able to make up some ground and finished the race in seventh place. She finished with a time of 9:34.70, which was not good enough to advance to the final round. It was also 15 seconds slower than her run in London Olympics four year earlier.
But with a LEAN approach, trying to see through a masterplan, but still being able to handle the difficulties life is throwing at you, Diro had the whole audience cheering for her yesterday. Even more than if she had actually won the race.
#ShapingtheOdds is also about being part of something bigger, and having help from the community around you.
The same way many startups from Norway have had help from Innovation Norway, and entrepreneurs from Spain have experienced great help from ICEX during their internationalization process, Diro got some help too..
After the race, Ethiopia filed an appeal on behalf of Diro and she was advanced to the final after review from the Jury of Appeal.
The jury decided that also Sarah Treacy from Ireland and Aisha Praught from Jamaica will get a second chance in the final, as they fell too.
Many entrepreneurs have found themselves in similar paralyzing moments, just like Diro in the picture above. In those situations, the difference between fiasco and success is the help we receive from others.
Today, these three wonderful athletes can concentrate on what they are best at: #ShapingtheOdds for tomorrow´s final.
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