Indonesia has had many athletes throughout the time. From Richard Sam Bera to Ellyas Pical, the country's legacy is nothing to scoff at.


Indonesia has produced great athletes throughout the time. Some of which are collecting medals from international competitions and gaining worldwide recognition from sports fans.

Elite athletes know that achieving success in athletics requires effort and discipline. They use these, as well as their own motive, as the fuel to keep going and improve their performance. Successful athletes don't have superhuman abilities. Instead, they rely on their training and personal goals to continuously improve themselves.

1. Richard Sam Bera (swimming)

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Despite being the biggest archipelago in the world, Indonesia does not have the world's greatest swimmers. However, Richard Sam Bera, the country's most successful swimmer, is probably close enough.

Richard was 16 years old when he qualified for the 1988 Summer Olympics. At the 1989 SEA Games, Richard won the first gold medal for Indonesia. He represented the country at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. He eventually retired after winning his last SEA Games in 2005.

2. Umar Syarief (karate)

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Indonesia's best-ever karate practitioner, Umar, moved to Europe in 2005 to improve his skills and participate in regular competitions. He then opened a martial arts school in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Since he was urged to return to Indonesia to improve the country's martial arts talent, Umar has only provided training. He criticized the local police for not preventing petty thieves and encouraged more people to start taking up martial arts as a solution. Umar does not want to be involved in Indonesia's sport-politics ever since he retired in 2016.

3. Ade Rai (bodybuilding)
One of Indonesia's most recognizable athletes is Ade Rai, who became a prominent figure in the country due to his endorsement deals with various health products and his chain of gyms.

Ade was not always the biggest kid growing up. When he was ten years old, he weighed only 25 kilograms. In his teenage years, his weight was only 55 kilograms. However, in 1994, he took on bodybuilding and won Indonesia's Best Bodybuilder at 80 kilograms.

He has won numerous titles in the international bodybuilding and fitness industry. He is known for his friendly and humble disposition. He also urged the country's aspiring bodybuilders to avoid using steroids.

4. Ellyas Pical (boxing)
Indonesia's first professional boxer, Ellyas became a three-time champion of the International Boxing Federation. In 1982, he gained his first professional title by defeating Ju Do Chun of China.

He was nicknamed the Exocet due to his powerful left hand, which often produced knock-out blows. He won his first title when he defeated Cesar Polaco in 1986.

Ellyas defended his titles three times before losing in 1989. He won 20 fights out of his 33 bouts and lost five times during his career. At 55, he fought in a two-round exhibition match in 2016.

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