WATCH | Striving for greatness: SA's Wayde van Niekerk and Audi launch #Lane8
• SA Olympic gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk and Audi SA have joined forces for a new campaign.
• #Lane8 looks back to Van Niekerk's 2016 Olympic win from the eighth lane in the 400-metre sprint.
• The campaign's aim is to encourage South Africans to inspire and encourage an outlook of optimism.
Wayde van Niekerk left his mark firmly in South Africans' minds on 14 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when he broke Michael Johnson's record in the men's 400 metres event with a time of 43.03 seconds.
Remarkably, he won the race despite starting in lane eight. It's the least desirable lane to any runner because they can't see their opponents and will struggle to pace their run.
It's a moment that is watched on YouTube over and over again and still gives many people goosebumps. To many young athletes he is a hero.
And now, together with Audi South Africa, Wayde has launched a brand campaign titled #Lane8. The campaign is driven on social media and centres on Wayde's historic victory at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, where he broke a 17 year old world record, says Audi.
The #Lane8 campaign is aimed at inspiring South Africans to strive for greatness and to overcome doubt and hardship no matter the challenge faced.
The main video which is part of this campaign, is an emotional account of how one can defy the odds, with a positive mind-set and a resilient attitude, using the metaphorical link to Wayde's personal life story and sporting success in athletics.
Considering the personal and professional challenges faced by many South Africans today, the campaign message strives to inspire and motivate as we move forward amidst the effects and impact of a global pandemic.
"I believe that anyone can be a champion of their own progress. No matter your background, history or current circumstance, if you can bravely adopt a fearlessly optimistic belief, your purpose and will to progress is unstoppable. We are not defined by our challenges but by how we rise above it to succeed," Van Niekerk said.
The 24-year-old South African the first athlete to run the 100 metres in less than 10 seconds, the 200 metres in under 20 seconds, and 400 metres in under 44 seconds.
Van Niekerk has been out of action after he sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury during 2017 and has spent a long period in rehabilitation. He returned to competitive running in 2020 and is training towards the Olympic Games in Japan in 2021.
"Despite the many challenges that he has faced, Wayde has never let his circumstances hold him back,"said Tarryn Knight head of marketing and product at Audi South Africa.
"He exemplifies performance, bravery, resilience and progress, which resonates with our brand values of Vorsprung. We are proud to have partnered with him on the #Lane8 campaign and excited to share a heart-warming, local content piece with South Africa," Knight said.