After all the bad sportsmanship that I had remarked on during the NFL games this past season, I wanted to point out some good to balance it all out. I have been watching the Winter Olympics this year, and the athletes are quite wonderful as always. But last night as I watched I was thoroughly impressed by the men doing the half-pipe as they competed.
As many of you know, Sean White, from the U.S., has had two running golds in this event and was expected to take home another because, well, he is an impressive snowboarder! But this year his performance was left wanting and he came in 4th. When Iouri Podladtchikov, from Switzerland, won – the surprise on his face was evident. And instead of standing up and pulling a “Sherman” he and Sean hugged, Sean adamantly praising Iouri’s performance over and over again and Iouri bashfully accepting that he had the better run. Both of them when interviewed gave the other compliments and praise on their athletic abilities. Sean was a graceful loser, and Iouri a graceful winner.
To me, THIS is the kind of sporting attitude I want my children to see. Yes, it sucks that Sean lost and I am positive that he is beating himself up about it over and over again – but he handled the loss like a PRO. And it is awesome to win, I am positive that Iouri is screaming his head off about how great it is to get a gold, but he handled that win like a PRO. That is the way I want my children to grow up thinking about sportsmanship. Grace and poise! Rant done! 🙂