The Strength To Win


Sports; History; Drama


On August 12, 1984, Portugal had its eyes set on RTP's broadcast. The reason was the live broadcast of the men's Olympic marathon taking place in Los Angeles, in which a single Portuguese athlete participated. At 37 years old, Carlos Lopes was the last hope for the Portuguese people to hear the national anthem in the Olympic competition. Six days earlier, Fernando Mamede had let everyone who had hoped to see him reach gold down in the 10,000 meter event. After winning his tie, after breaking the world record a month earlier and thrilling the Portuguese, the best athlete in the world at that distance left the race halfway through without a physical reason that could justify it. It was his own head that betrayed him. Lopes and Mamede marked two generations of Portuguese. They both have a man in common: his coach Moniz Pereira.