Life is subject to ups and downs, and history is full of times when people achieved unequalled heights, and for various reasons, lost everything. Having lost the earned fame, many people had to bear living their lives in hopeless anonymity. In a few instances, however, they made unexpected and stunning comebacks. Having disclosed the secret of his strength to Delilah, Samson lost his strength, but having sought the help of God, Samson made a comeback to the utter devastation of the Philistines when he shook the two pillars apart with the regained might of an earth quake.
The term comeback, is mostly used in reference to the successful reappearance of a celebrity, sportsman, politician, protagonist, or a hero in any walk of life. Sometimes the term comeback is used for a quick and witty response. In a situation where one has been degraded, after a comeback they resume their original position with an equal and opposite bounce. It is interesting to note that the latest fashions are sometimes the comebacks of once-declared obsolete versions. Many cults are similarly revival of some forgotten conventions. It is said that in old age the eagle, drops its plumage and beaks to be rejuvenated.
1. George Foreman
George Edward Foreman nicknamed Big George and Heywood Giant was born in Marshall, Texas, US on January 10, 1949. He is a retired American professional boxer, former two times heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist. His boxing record includes a total of 81 fights of which he won 76 and lost 5. He is 6 feet 4 in, and his reach is 82 inches. Before losing to Muhammad Ali, he successfully defended his title twice but following the defeat by Jimmy Young in 1977, he became an ordained Christian Minister. He announced a come back ten years later and knocking out Michael Moorer, regained the heavy weight championship. It is the most remembered comeback in the history of boxing. George Foreman remains the oldest heavyweight champion in history.
2. Sir Steve Geoffrey Redgrave CBE
Sir Steve Geoffrey Redgrave CBE was born in Marlow, Buckingham-shire on March 23, 1962. He is a retired English Rower and won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games. He has also won 3 Commonwealth gold medals and 9 World rowing Championship gold medals. He was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and type 2 Diabetes. Soon after winning 1996 Olympic Gold Medal he said that anybody who found him close to a rowing boat again, could shoot him. After four years however, he made a great comeback winning the incredible consecutive 5th gold medal at the Olympics. He was honored as MBE in 1987, as CBE in 1997 and became Knight Bachelor in 2001.He received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
3. Lasse Viren
Lasse Artturi Viren was born in Myrskyla, Finland on July 22, 1949. He is a former Long Distance Runner. He won both the events at the 1972 Summer Olympics winning 5,000 and 10,000 meter events. In the 10,000 meter final he broke Ron Clarke’s 7-year-old record. Entangled with Emiel Puttemans, he fell in the twelfth lap, but made a great comeback.He caught up with the leading pack. He started an unsurpassable lap-and-a-half kick that only Emille Puttemans responded to, but could not outmatch. Viren won the race in 27:38:40 which is a record for the Olympics. He is one of the four athletes who won both events in the same Olympics.
4. Lance Armstrong
Lance Edward Armstrong nicknamed Big Tex was born in Plano, Texas, US on September 18, 1971. He is a former American road cyclist who won seven consecutive times after surviving testicular cancer which spread to his lungs and brain. His treatments included brain and testicular surgery as well as intense chemotherapy. On July 24, 2005 at the end of Tour de France, he announced retirement but on September 9, 2008 Armstrong said, ‘After talking with my children, my family and my closest friends, I have decided to return to professional cycling in order to raise awareness of the global cancer burden.’ Prompted by a noble cause, Lance Armstrong made a comeback in January 2009 and finished third in the 2009 Tour de France.
Hermit was a yellow-hued chestnut stallion standing around 15.2 hands high. He was a British thoroughbred race horse and sire. His racing career lasted from April 1866 to 1869. Hermit remained off the course for more than 10 months when he appeared for the Derby. A week before Derby , Hermit broke a blood vessel during gallop exercises and had to be pulled while his jockey was released. However, he started recovering and made an unexpected comeback. Hermit won the race in spite of the bitter chilly weather and a new jockey . Bailey’s magazine published a parody of Macaulay’s Lays Of Ancient Rome, titled A lay of Modern Epsom by Greathopes.
‘Despised, abus’d forsaken,
Predicted not to stay,
A byeword and a proverb
The Hermit won the day!’
Chaplain won over 100,000 pounds on the race.
6. Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (better known as Nelson Mandela) was born in Mvezo, South Africa on July 18, 1918. Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and was convicted on charges of sabotage. He served 27 years in prison, mainly on Robben Island. He was released on February 11, 1990 after serving 27 years of imprisonment. On April 27, 1994, his party ANC won 62 % votes in the first multi-racial elections and on May 10, 1994 he became the first president of South Africa. He remained in office until June 1999. Nelson Mandela has received many honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, the Bailiff Grand Cross of the order of St.John, from Queen Elizabeth II, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W.Bush.
7. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert John Downy Jr. was born in New York City, New York; U.S on April4, 1965.He is an American film actor and made his debut at the age of five acting in his father’s film. At 6 he tried marijuana, and in his twenties he became addicted to cocaine, heroine and other drugs. As a result of his drug addiction, he lost his career. Robert was arrested many times and sent to rehabilitation centers. He was finally released from rehab in 2002 and made a great comeback, being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and the Oscar Award. He starred in Iron Man in 2008 and is one the highest paid super heroes of Hollywood.
An admirer asked Mozart if he could advise him on how to start writing symphonies, whereupon Mozart replied that a symphony was a very complex musical form and it would be better to begin with some simpler form and work up to symphony. The admirer reminded him that Mozart himself started writing symphony when he was only 8 years old. Mozart said, ‘ Yes, but I never asked any body how.
9. Britney Spears
Britney Jean Spears was born on December 2, 1981, and is a famous recording artist. Her Debut album Baby One More Time and the title Oops! I Did It Again earned her unparalleled fame. She became the best selling teenage artist. Her songs won her the honorific title of ‘Princess of Pop’. Her erratic behavior and hospitalizations in 2008 caused her to be placed in conservatorship; a legal term applied to a person found seriously unable to look after themselves and unable to meet their basic needs of food ,clothing, and shelter. Britney Spears made a great comeback the same year. She achieved the highest grossing global concert tour, The Circus Starring Brittany Spears.
10. Winston Churchill
No one is unaware of Churchill’s fame as a great leader. He was very good at comebacks too. Finding him a bit drunk in a party, Lady Astor said to him, ‘Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.’ Churchill replied, ‘Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.’
People attain great heights by challenging others and winning events, but they make great and unexpected comebacks when they challenge themselves. When people decide to rise up and prove to the world that they are worthy of their former fame and accolades, this is a truly great comeback. The human will is made of diamonds, and those that achieve great feats are the precious jewels of humanity.