Associated Knowledge session – Ernst Van Dyk
On 12 November 2014, Ernst Van Dyk was the latest speak to be part of the Associated Media Publishing’s Knowledge Sessions. The sessions impart knowledge and inspiration to the AMP team, bringing different perspectives on life and work.
Ernst van Dyk was born with a congenital defect that resulted in the incomplete development of his legs and right arm. Nevertheless, at 38 he has competed in five Paralympic Games and is a multiple medallist (including gold at the 2008 Beijing Games) in arguably the most competitive events in disabled sport, wheelchair racing and handcycling. In 2006 Ernst received the coveted Laureus award for the world’s best disabled athlete. To date he has won 10 Boston Marathons (wheelchair division).
Ernst talked about his life and the road he took to get to the top – overcoming adversity, setting goals, coming back stronger from setbacks and living his dream. It’s about finding meaning in life and making the best of the cards you were dealt. AMP staff spent invaluable time in the company of one of the most consistently successful athletes South Africa has ever produced.
His story of trial over adversity was incredibly moving – his attitude towards his professional life is something the team at AMP took huge inspiration from. His can-do approach to life, when so many told him he can’t-do, imparted renewed energy and inspiration to the team.
His parting words were: ‘When life throws you down, BOUNCE!’