In Olympics and life, you explore or you expire, says Moon-man Buzz Aldrin

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Rio de Janeiro, Aug 11 (IANS) Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, says the Olympics is no different from space exploration where you put in everything that you have into the effort.

“You want to be the best that you can do. We’re all working towards something. We explore or we expire. You’ve a choice,” the former astronaut told reporters here.

As part of the Apollo lunar landing in 1969, Aldrin stepped on the moon after Neil Armstrong. He is in Rio as a brand ambassador for Omega, the official timekeeper of Olympics and the company felicitated him here with a special ‘Space Day’ where he spoke to the press and met a large number of people.

Not losing any of his energy, Aldrin though made a quip at his age when he talked about the swimming sensation Michael Phelps whom he saw claim two gold medals the night before. “What I’ve seen last night stands out most in my mind. That old guy who’s been around a long time, Phelps, he’s pretty good,” he said smilingly.

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Omega has a special connection with Aldrin as the astronaut had been wearing a Speedmaster watch when he stepped on to the Moon. It had been certified by NASA for all manned missions.

Now, 47 years later, he was recounting his memories as if it had happened only yesterday. He said that Moon landing and Olympics had similar qualities as both drive the human spirit.

“It’s the same thing that drives everyone to appreciate what they stand for. What they can do,” he said.

The company had hung a big luminescent moon over the patio for the evening to honour Aldrin. There were also cocktails in space ration hydropacks made with tang, the drink that astronauts actually took to space.

President and CEO of OMEGA Raynald Aeschlimann said that the story of space and the moon was “still and essential part of our DNA”.

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