He said that event transformed his life.
He now juggles two jobs: a worker at an oil company and a coach for Equatorial Guinea's national swim team.
I was very tired in the pool but the Olympic spirit meant that I had to finish the race.
Set to compete in the highly coveted 100m freestyle event, Eric set off for Sydney, a city he had never even heard of up to this point in his life.
A lot of people were making fun of me, others were congratulating me.
But with 30 metres to go and the raucous din of the good-natured, highly amused but supportive Australian crowd growing in volume as they roared their encouragement for the hapless underdog, the flailing object of their affection steeled himself for one final big push.