Like many of you, I cheer when my country takes home another Olympic medal and I deeply admire the strength, courage, passion and absolute dedication of the athletes.
I love those moments when an athlete demonstrates strength of character that matches or exceeds their physical strength. And I feel sad when an athlete’s desire for the gold is so strong that outright cheating or using a questionable loophole to win are considered viable strategies for success.
This zeal to win is not limited to Olympic athletes. It happens in many different aspects of life and at many different competency levels throughout society.
And then I have to wonder where my responsibility and society’s responsibility lies within that ruthless quest for the win? Has our celebration of winning made winning more important than winning with honor?
High achievers in school, in business, in community and in sport provide inspiration for many others. I believe that excellence, and the hard work and dedication required to reach personal bests, should be celebrated in all aspects of life.
The question becomes what about those people who sacrifice a win in order to hold true to higher values such integrity and honesty; someone who didn’t use the questionable loophole; someone who chose not to get involved in a mud-slinging match?” Some would say that person didn’t have what it took to win. My two cents … I believe people who have the courage to lose with integrity, rather than win at any cost, are the real winners.