posted by Ella Wells

Want to become an Olympian? You can teach yourself.

We’ve got to admit, YouTube has taught us a lot. Whether it’s how to apply make-up with a sock or teaching ourselves how to become a real life Snapchat filter, it is definitely the place to go when looking to master a new skill. But it seems as though Julius Yego, a Kenyan javelin thrower, has taken this ‘self-taught’ concept to the next level.

Yego, who is set to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, is currently a javelin World Champion – and it’s all down to YouTube. The 27 year old, from Cheptonon Village in Kenya, is known as ‘The YouTube Man’ after he taught himself the sport by watching fellow javelin throwers on YouTube.

Yego has told the story of his humble beginnings in a video for GoPro, where he explains how he came from a family of farmers and began competing in primary school using dried sticks as javelins. Yego soon realised his potential but without a coach and nowhere to train he felt like “life was going against (him)”.

But he didn’t give up, he explained: “Something came in to my mind to watch YouTube videos, I would go to the cyber (cafe), look at the great javelin throwers and I would come and practice the following day.” Yego soon noticed the impact of these videos and he went on to win a gold medal at the World Championships in 2015.

Coming from a village with no cars, roads or electricity, becoming an Olympian seemed like the impossible. But with Yego’s determination and the help of YouTube, the World Champion shall be competing in the men’s javelin throw at the Rio Olympics on 17th August.

Let us know what you think about Yego’s story in the comments and in the meantime, make sure to check out our latest instalment of SLAY or NAY to catch up on all of this weeks YouTube news.