The Underdogs Who Defied the Odds

Remember when Leicester won the Premier League, the most distinguished league in the world? On the first day of the 2016 season, the odds of Leicester winning the tournament were set at 5000 to 1. The world loves an underdog story – in fact, this underdog English soccer team went on to beat impossible odds! Our super cool infographic is dedicated to those real life underdogs in business, war and the arts, who stood up for what they believed in and against all the odds, kept themselves in the game and fought hard to overcome their oppressor.

In history, perhaps the most famous underdog story is the famous battle of 300 Spartans who, in 480 BC, singlehandedly defended the Thermopylae mountain pass, in Greece, to fight Xerxes I and slow down his progress before reaching the Greek army. They were outmanned and outgunned by an enormous Persian army comprising of 150,000 men. The Spartans used the terrain to their advantage by funnelling the significantly larger army into more manageable formations. Even though Leonidas’ best men stood no chance against this sizable force, his brave soldiers held them back for two whole days. This heroic stand of Sparta’s 300 at Thermopylae is the most well-known chapter in the wars between Greece and Persia. Soon after this loss, the Greeks fell back, and Xerxes attacked with full force. There was a change in the tide – literally – and the Greeks changed their tactics to lure the over-eager Persian naval army into the Straits of Salamis where a small force of the resistance awaited. The Persian army was still three times larger than that of the Greeks, yet they were defeated, as their numbers hindered them in the narrow straits and struggled to manoeuvre. Small Greek vessels moved through the fleet effortlessly and rammed the enemy’s hulls to defeat the Persians who were unable to launch any kind of counter attack. The Greeks avenged the deaths of their brothers who fell at Thermopylae and defied the odds TWICE to come out victorious in the end. Head to our infographic to find out what happened in the course of history when Brenda Berkman fought for women’s rights back in 1928.

David vs Goliath

Most of us are familiar with the infamous tale from the Bible of the young King David of the Israelites who fought and overcame the giant, Goliath. In the business world, every industry has its Goliath, but it’s never impossible to come out on top when the odds are stacked up against you. Let’s take Netflix as an example, the company was rival to Blockbuster and constantly in its shadow for several years. Netflix started offering more convenience to customers; first by delivering movies through the mail and later with streaming services made available on numerous devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Similarly, in the gaming industry, casino and table games like Roulette have also turned portable and are accessible on numerous devices. In 2000, Blockbuster had turned down the offer to buy the company for $50 million. Today, Netflix has more than 31.1 million subscribers whereas Blockbuster has filed for bankruptcy. Take a look at our infographic for similar stories on how Donald Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary D. Cohn, overcame dyslexia to get himself to where he is today and how a small London tearoom went head to head with Starbucks, the million-dollar coffeehouse chain.

In the world of film, this year’s Oscars shocked the world when the small budget film, Moonlight, defied all odds and took home the golden man for Best Picture instead of La La Land. To make matters worse, La La Land had been announced as the victor by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty by accident as the cards had been mixed up. The error left Moonlight’s director, Barry Jenkins, speechless. It cost just $1.6 million to make and earned $22 million at the box office, compared to La La Land which had a budget of $30 million. That the film won with such a small budget is historic. When he and his team went on stage and accepted the prestigious award, it became the greatest underdog story in Oscars history. But it wasn’t only the figures which made the film an unlikely victor; Moonlight is all about the black experience. It’s the story of a young black boy’s struggle to come to terms with his identity and sexuality. Take a look at our infographic to find out which other film made history. I’ll give you a hint; this one cost a mere $60,000 to make and grossed a total of $248.6 million.

You see? Sometimes there is justice in the world! Have a look at our infographic for even more compelling real life David and Goliath stories.

The Underdogs Who Defied the Odds