In 1896, when Pierre De Coubertin established the Olympic Games, he said, ‘the important thing in the Olympic games is not the winning but the taking part!’ Can you beat that?!
During the build-up to the 1988 Calgary Olympics, ski-jumper and Great Britain sensation, Michael “the Eagle” Edward was told he was too old to start training for the Olympic Games. Having not made the grade as a downhill skier, he switched to ski jumping as there were no other British ski jumpers with whom to compete for a place, a 22-year old Eddie just brushed the advice of critics aside and kept on trying. His ultimate aim was to show up and break Great Britain’s streak of non-appearance (the country had not been represented at the Winter Games since 1928).
Not only was he able to show up at the Games, but he also became classified among the greats. At the closing ceremony, the president of the Organizing Committee, Frank King, made honorable mention of Edwards for his role. King said, scanning the cross-section of competitors, “You have broken world records and you have established personal bests. Some of you have even soared like an eagle”. Needless to say, Eddie finished last in both the 70m and 90m events!
Our definition of winning may not be the same as every other person. We are certainly not in competition with anyone. While some want the medal, others want to be the medal – the object of attraction!