March 2, 2017 5:22 AM EST

ROWING

Hamadou Djibo Issaka of the landlocked country of Niger trailed his competitors by 300 m in a men’s singles sculls heat at the 2012 London Olympics, having trained for three months in a fishing boat. He finished to a standing ovation.

SWIMMING

Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea completed a 100-m freestyle heat in the 2000 Sydney Olympics 43 sec. outside the qualifying time. The swimmer, later nicknamed Eric the Eel, did win hearts.

TRACK AND FIELD

Trevor Misipeka, a shot putter from American Samoa, was entered in the 100-m sprint at Canada’s 2001 World Championships after a rules mix-up. He finished in 14.28 sec., an impressive pace for the 290-lb. athlete.

This appears in the March 13, 2017 issue of TIME.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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