Underdog Day: 9 To Inspire I Oxford Open Learning


    Underdog Day: 9 To Inspire

    Underdog Day, observed every third Friday in December in the United States, is a time to celebrate the remarkable stories of individuals who defied the odds, overcame adversity, and emerged victorious against all expectations.

    The term “underdog” didn’t just pop out of nowhere; it has a fascinating history that dates back to 19th-century dog fighting. Back then, the underdog was the pup considered less likely to win, sparking a metaphor that transcends competitive arenas today. It’s the spirit of resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

    Fast forward to the present, and we have Underdog Day, a celebration established by Peter Moeller in 1976. Held every third Friday in December, this day is all about cheering on those who hustle hard, face challenges head-on, and embody the underdog spirit. It’s a day to recognise unsung heroes and embrace stories of unexpected triumphs that can inspire us all.
    Why is this relevant you might well ask? It’s relevant because an underdog story is always a great source of inspiration. And you can never get too much of that now, can you?
    This blog will delve into the inspiring narratives of notable underdogs, both fictional and real, who have become symbols of resilience and determination. From the world of sports to literature, business, and activism, these individuals have left an indelible mark on history.
    First up, some fictional underdogs to get your teeth into:

    Rocky Balboa (Rocky Series)

    The character Rocky Balboa, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, is a quintessential underdog in the world of boxing. Starting as a small-time club fighter, Rocky gets the chance of a lifetime to face the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. Despite overwhelming odds, Rocky’s determination and resilience make him a symbol of the underdog spirit. A cracker of a film to put on over Christmas.

    Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)

    In J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy trilogy, Frodo Baggins is a hobbit tasked with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of destroying the One Ring and saving Middle-earth. Despite his small stature and the overwhelming power of the Ring, Frodo faces tremendous odds and becomes an unlikely hero. Not only that, but he had a scrap with an absolutely massive spider as well! You can’t get much more inspirational than that.

    Harry Potter

    J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is another iconic fictional underdog. Orphaned and initially unaware of his magical abilities, Harry discovers he is a wizard and must confront the dark wizard Lord Voldemort. Despite numerous challenges and being the “Chosen One,” Harry faces prejudice and hardship, embodying the classic underdog theme.

    Daniel LaRusso (The Karate Kid)

    In “The Karate Kid,” Ralph Macchio portrays Daniel LaRusso, a teenager who moves to a new town and becomes the target of bullying by a group of martial arts students. With the help of his unconventional mentor, Mr. Miyagi, Daniel enters a karate tournament to prove himself. The film showcases the triumph of an underdog in martial arts competition.

    What About Some Real-Life Underdogs?

    Here are some of history’s greatest:

    Malala Yousafzai: Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education who, at the age of 15, survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Malala continued her advocacy for girls’ education globally and, in 2014, became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Her resilience and determination make her a notable underdog in the fight for education and women’s rights.

    Rosa Parks: Often called the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rosa Parks was an African American woman who refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. This act of civil disobedience sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and played a significant role in the American civil rights movement, challenging racial segregation and inequality.

    See more by