Does winning always count?
I recently read a post on Global Post retelling the story of Spanish athlete Ivan Fernandez whose gesture of sportsmanship captured the heart of the world.
Ivan Fernandez was running in a race and was in second place as the race was coming to an end. First place, for the majority of the race, was held by Abel Mutai of Kenya. Mutai mistakenly thought he passed the finish line and began to slow down with Fernandez coming up behind him. Fernandez could have easily taken advantage of the mistake, passed Mutai, and won the race. Instead Fernandez pointed out the mistake tapping Mutai on the shoulder, then slowing down he let Mutai cross the finish line first. The move cost Fernandez the race but he felt it was the right thing to do since clearly Mutai would have been the winner.
“I didn’t deserve to win it,” Anaya, 24, told El Pais. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake.”
Fernandez lost the race but won the respect of the world.
The full article on Global Post: Iván Fernández Anaya’s kindness reaffirms faith in athletes for some.
I shared this story with my kids because I think it’s important for them to see that doing the right thing matters. It may not be popular, in fact Fernandez’ coach wasn’t happy at the gesture, but the world commended this act because it showed a great example of what true sportsmanship is about.