Underdog Story of the Day - Misty Hyman

Underdog Story of the Day - Misty Hyman

Misty Hyman

The 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia was needless to say an eventful one for team USA swimmer Misty Hyman. Just four months before the games, Hyman contemplated walking away from the sport altogether even though she won the 200 m butterfly at the Olympic trials. 

Come time for the Sydney Games, Hyman was the underdog for sure, considering she was up against Susie O'Neil. All of the cards were in O'Neil's favor. She was the defending champion, winning gold in Atlanta four years before, earning herself the nickname "Madame Butterfly" as a result of her performance. She also holds the record for most Olympic medals of any Australian and was competing in her native country. It didn't look good for Hyman.

Misty was notorious for losing pace as the swim went along, often falling behind in the final legs of races. If any team USA members were to win it would've been one of the two teammates, Jenny Thompson or Dara Torres, who were both more experienced, had won multiple Olympic medals and were far more likely to perform better under pressure.

But the underdog from Mesa, Arizona shocked the world. 

By just 7/10's of a second, Misty Hyman beat Susie O'Neil, creating a new Olympic record and the greatest upset in Olympic swimming history.

WATCH: Misty Hyman's 200m Butterfly Gold Upset - Sydney 2000


What Misty Hyman teaches us is that you're never out of it until the race is over. That goes for sports and for life. If you're the favored, don't get comfortable, and if you're the underdog, never quit. What we can also learn is that you always have to believe. Misty didn't think she'd actually win, which was apparent from her reaction. As one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali, once said, "to be a great champion, you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are."

It always seems impossible until it's done.

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