Conchita Martinez (ESP)
If you don't know who Conchita Martinez is, you could absolutely be forgiven. Very few people outside of the tennis world would know who she is. But, in 1994, on a sunny summer day, Conchita Martinez did what I consider the impossible. She won Wimbledon.
If you don't follow tennis, then you probably don't give a crap. But I follow tennis, so I do give a crap. I consider her winning Wimbledon the equivalent of a minor league team winning the World Series. I mean, a softball team has catch, can swing at balls, and plays on a diamond BUT certainly not at the level or environment most major league baseball teams do.
Conchita Martinez was a clay tennis court specialist. If she could not slide on it, then it was not something she did well on. Her grip, her topspin, her movement... everything was about clay court tennis. But at Wimbledon, in 1994, she beat Lindsay Davenport (the 1999 champion), Lori McNeil (a fast-court, serve-and-volley specialist), and the grand dame of grass court tennis, Martina Navratilova, to reign as champion.
I remember the moment she won. I was slack-jawed. I was speechless. I was in awe. I still watch footage of the match once in a while and wonder who she ever won. She played some damn good players. I mean, Lori McNeil had defeated Steffi Graf that year.
Anyway, I am still in awe and looking back, I am much more appreciative of her feat. It may sound silly but these are the type of moments that help remind me that if you really put your mind to something, you can achieve it. Later.