Olympics moments aren't made only by people who have Phelps or Bolt as last names. They are also the work of the unknowns and the underdogs.

Players who struggled to qualify. Sportspeople who didn't have an Olympic size pool in their home country, who were forced to train to become an Olympic swimmer in eight months. And then won their opening race in the Olympics with the slowest recorded time in history.

That is the feat Eric Moussambani or "Eric the Eel", of Equatorial Guinea, accomplished in the 100m-freestyle heat at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Oh, and he almost drowned doing it. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah let fans relive that moment in all its glory and hilarity.

"So, he became the first swimmer to ever win an Olympic race but with the slowest time in history. For me, that's what makes him a true Olympic legend. He made us realise that it is not the winning that matters. It's the not drowning that matters."

Below is a news broadcast of the original moment.


So great has been Moussambani's worldwide fame that the media and fans have tried to crown a new version of The Eel in every successive Olympics since. In 2000, his compatriot Paula Bolopa, a supermarket cashier, also broke the record for the slowest run and won the nickname "Paula the Crawler".

At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, on finishing last, a full eight seconds after the second slowest, Cook Islands swimmer Petero Okotai said in an interview after the heat, "I hope I am not Eric the Eel."

At the this year's Olympics in Rio, Ethiopian swimmer Robel Kiros Habte finished last by half a lap, drawing instant comparisons. Cruel body-shamers on Twitter coined the name "Robel the whale" for not having the chiselled body that most Olympians do. The name hasn't stuck, not only because it lacked the alliterative genius of the original, but also because he completed the race almost a minute before The Eel had.

Much before the Eel's failed heroics, Michael Edwards took part in the 1988s Winter Olympics in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He was the first ski-jumper from Great Britain at the Winter Games since 1929. In true Olympic spirit, he was an amateur out to achieve his dream without funding or professional training.

He came last in both the events he took part, but so great was his fame that a crowd of 10,000 gathered in Heathrow to welcome him. In 2016, his story was turned into a film co-starring Hugh Jackman as his fictional coach.