The Man with the Only Hand - Karoly Takacs

Submitted into Contest #48 in response to: Write the 'origin story' of a person who goes on to achieve great things.... view prompt



Since our childhood we have heard many different stories of the people achieving their aims in life, getting high salaries, having cars, and a lot more, but have ever bothered to think or to check that what they have done in their lives is just to get their dreams? Let's talk about a person who got everything after losing almost everything

We are going to talk about "THE MAN WITH ONLY HAND". I can promise you that after reading his story, you’ll never forget him…

Karoly Takács was born in Budapest and joined the Hungarian Army. By 1936, he was a world-class pistol shooter, but he was denied a place in the Hungarian shooting team for the 1936 Summer Olympics on the grounds that he was a sergeant, and only commissioned officers were allowed to compete. This prohibition was lifted in Hungary after the Berlin Games, and Takács had expectations of success at the 1940 Summer Olympics, which was scheduled to be held in Tokyo.

Karoly Takacs was a member of the Hungarian pistol shooting team in 1938 .He was expected to win the gold in the 1940 Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.Those expectations vanished when one terrible day just months before the Olympics,while serving as a sergeant in the army, a defective grenade exploded in his right hand - his pistol hand -and shattered it completely.

Now,he only had two options: to give up his dream and curse his fate for the whole of his life or to stand-up once again for his dream and get what he planned

At that point most people would have quit. And they would have probably spent the rest of their life feeling sorry for themselves. Most people would have quit but not Takacs. Takacs was a winner. Winners know that they can’t let circumstances keep them down. They understand that life is hard and that they can’t let life beat them down. Winners know in their heart that quitting is not an option.

Takacs did the unthinkable; he picked himself up, dusted himself off, and decided to learn how to shoot with his left hand.Right after receiving one month of treatment he secretly began to taught himself to shoot with his left hand At that time, he wasn't even able to write with his left hand but he didn't give up. For months Takacs practiced by himself. No one knew what he was doing. Maybe he didn’t want to subject himself to people who most certainly would have discouraged him from his rekindled dream

Can you guess how he was able to decide what everyone seems to be impossible? The answer is- He simply asked himself, “Why not?”. Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have – a world class right shooting hand, he decided to focus on what he did have – incredible mental toughness, and a healthy left hand that with time, could be developed to shoot like a champion.

It's all was not easy going for him.People cursed him, de-motivated him and even underestimated him. But leaving everything on his back, he kept moving.

In the spring of 1939 he showed up at the Hungarian National Pistol Shooting Championship. Other shooters approached Takacs to give him their condolences and to congratulate him on having the strength to come watch them shoot. They were surprised when he said, "I am here not to spectate but participate".

When the event began, everyone expected Takacs to make a feeble attempt to pull the trigger with his right hand so that he could quench his emotional thirst for shooting again.

But when it was Takacs’ turn, the man picked up the pistol with his left hand. He fired shot after shot with his non-dominant hand as the audience watched with their jaw dropped open. And what was shocking was every shot hit the bullseye.All of other players shot with their best hand, but Karoly was shooting with his only hand. Then do you know what happened?-" Takacs came out as the winner of the event".

But his dream of winning the Olympic gold was again shattered. This time because the Olympic Committee canceled the Olympics of 1940 due to the World War II.Takacs, though disappointed kept hanging on. He waited for four long years hoping to fulfill his incomplete dream in 1944.Unfortunately, the Olympics of 1944 had to be canceled too due to the continued war.But did not give up,He shifted his focus on the olympics of 1948.

By 1948, Takacs was 38. In the Summer Olympics held in the same year in London, he was no longer considered the favorite to win the event.Before the event, the reigning world champion asked Takacs what was he there for,Takacs said he was there to fight. To everyone’s surprise, Takacs went on not only to bag the Gold medal but also set the world record in the rapid-fire pistol event.

Four years later, Takacs won the Gold Medal again at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. He got what he aimed for. Takacs – a man with the mental toughness to bounce back from anything.

Takacs definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself. He had a right to stay depressed and to ask himself “Why me?” for the rest of his life. He had the right to act like a mediocre man.But Takacs made the DECISION to dig deep inside and to find a solution. To pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers always search for an escape.

You still would have many reasons of not doing what you want the most,Not chasing your dreams.But remember to ask yourself HAD LIFE HIT YOU BADLY ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN'T BOUNCE BACK,IF HE CAN WHY CAN'T YOU.

Frankly speaking,If I were there at his position:

I would blame the Government, abuse the grenade manufacturer or curse my luck. But not Takacs. He blamed nothing, went back to practice and came back strong. Blaming circumstances is the easiest way to hide our own mistakes under the rug or lying the comfort zone.

So the journey doesn't end where you lose your resource, it ends where you give up, where you think that you can't do it, it ends where you defeat yourself by your hand.


It's not about being the best, It's about being better than yesterday.

Chase your dreams no matter what life gives you.

Life is not about how hard of a hit you can give...It's about how many you can take and still keep moving foreward.

By Pooja Sarmalkar

June 30, 2020 10:01

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Shweta Shirodkar
16:36 Jul 08, 2020

Nice one


16:43 Jul 08, 2020

Thanks a lot shweta 🙏


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Show 1 reply
10:07 Jun 30, 2020

Really it's motivational story of karoly takacs👌👏🎊


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