To be able to win a gold, silver or bronze medal is only icing on the cake – desired but not always the ultimate goal.
Nurturing the spirit of an Olympian is probably more important than winning.
Recent examples displayed by Canadians in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics show the inspiration to compete at the highest level of your abilities is more important than winning.
The Canadian cross country ski coach Justin Wadsworth, who incidentally is an American, helped a Russian competitor whose ski had broken and was trying in vain to finish his race – Wadsworth ran on the course and give the Russian an extra ski for Canadian skiers.
The Canadian speed skater, Gilmore Junio who had finished 10th in his own 500-metre race decided to give up his spot in another race to a fellow team member, Denny Morrison, because he thought Morrison was faster. Morrison ended up winning a silver medal.
In the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan, a Canadian female skier broke her ski pole during her race and was struggling. A coach from another country ran out and passed over a spare pole he had for his own team.
This is the spirit of the Olympics … doing an athlete’s best on a level competitive plane. Sure it’s great to win, but it’s even better to know all athletes had a chance to win and weren’t deprived of that because of something beyond their control.
When Marystown’s own Kaetlyn Osmond won a silver medal for Canada in the first ever figure skating ‘Team’ event, she was thrilled. She had helped her fellow athletes to achieve on the world stage.
It’s not often figure skaters can rally to compete together – they train separately for the most part, only see each other at competitions, have little time to get to know each other let alone combine their skills and talents for a common goal.
The Olympian goal is ‘to give one’s best and strive for personal excellence’.
The motto of the Olympic games is ‘Citius-Altius-Fortius’ or ‘Faster-Higher-Stronger’ encouraging athletes to give his/her best during the competition.
‘The most important thing in life is not the triumph,
but the fight;
the essential thing is not to have won,
but to have fought well.’
We’re all looking forward to seeing Kaetlyn give her best as she skates again for Canada this Wednesday and Thursday in Sochi, Russia. It’s not the winning, it’s the giving one’s all that excites/inspires a nation.
George Macvicar, Editor/Manager