Even at an event characterised by improbable tales of triumph over adversity, there can be few more inspiring Olympians than Irish gymnast Kieran Behan.
Told at the age of 10 that he might never walk again, the 23-year-old will on Saturday stride into London's North Greenwich Arena hoping to secure a place in the men's artistic gymnastics floor final.
"It's in my blood somewhere, to never give up," he says when asked to explain his unlikely journey to the Olympic Village.
"It's having positive people around you who believe in you. The more people who tell you that you can't do something, the more you want to do it. That's driven me all my life."
Behan was 10 years old when misfortune befell him for the first time in his extraordinary life.
After doctors discovered a non-cancerous tumour on his left leg, he underwent surgery to have it removed, but complications during the procedure left him with damaged nerves and he found himself consigned to a wheelchair.
Amid playground taunts and warnings from doctors that he might not walk again, he slowly fought his way back to fitness, only for disaster to strike again only eight months after he had recovered.
During gymnastics practice, he hit the back of his head on the horizontal bar and the repercussions almost ended his love affair with the sport.
The damage he had sustained to his inner ear meant that he blacked out in the event of sudden movement, a terrifying ordeal that kept him out of the gymnasium for three years.
For the second time in his young life, doctors feared he might lose the ability to walk, yet over a two-year period of relentless physiotherapy, he produced another remarkable recovery.
"That was a long, hard road," he recalls. "I had to learn how to move my eyes properly, then how to stand up."
Back he came again, but still cruel lack awaited him.
In 2009, he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, keeping him out of action for six months.
No sooner had he recovered than the injury curse struck again; a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his other knee cutting him down just six weeks before the European Championships.
It is only in the last year and a half that the injury curse has relinquished its grip upon him.
Behan won three World Cups medals, including one gold, in 2011 and then secured his place at the Olympics in January this year, making him Ireland's second ever Olympic gymnast after Barry McDonald at Atlanta in 1996.
"To think, years and years ago I was told: 'You're never going to be able to walk again, let alone do gymnastics'; to find out I'm going to the Olympic Games is something that dreams are made of," he said.
"To come from all that, and everything that's happened with injuries, I've got the luck of the Irish on my side, most definitely.
"I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for my friends and family and coaches and everyone who has stuck around and been there supporting me."
Aided by fund-raising drives from his gymnastics club and forced to spend time working as a builder for his father, Behan had to fund his own trip to last year's world championships in Tokyo, at a personal cost of £6,000 ($9,430).
He only started to receive funding this year but on Saturday his dream will be realised when he walks out to compete with the world's best beneath the Olympic rings.
"I would never change anything," he said earlier this week.
"It's moulded me into the person I am today. Whatever happens to you, never give up."