Olympics – where has good sportsmanship gone?

Having been away for a little winter hibernation I have spent some time observing the Olympic Games and the achievements of the world’s athletes.

Whilst there have been many inspiring moments, it is really disappointing to read the negative press when various athletes fail to live up to “expectations” and perhaps “only bring in a silver or a bronze”.

Over recent years the attitude that anyone is a loser if they don’t come first has become pervasive.  This is now leading athletes to throw down the “lesser” medals and storm off in a huff of bad sportsmanship.

In fact the pouting expressions of “losers” and the over enthusiastic antics of “winners”is becoming really off-putting.  Where is the acknowledgment that even reaching a final among the world’s best is an achievement.  Where is the dignity and graciousness of a  winner or good sportsmanship in defeat.

Perhaps the leading athletes who strut their win or demean a second or third placing need to have a good look at themselves and realize that winning at all costs and in bad form is not winning at all.

And as for the armchair critics who have little conception of the effort required to even make the field in an Olympics it is time to let the athletes enjoy their success whatever that may represent.

That achievement may be gaining a gold, silver or bronze medal, it may be reaching a final, or bettering one’s own best effort, or even reaching the pinnacle of the world’s elite athletes to be present at an Olympic games and be forever an Olympian.  All these efforts are worthy of admiration as are those athletes that display the true mark of good sportsmanship and camaraderie even with their fellow competitors.


In 1896 Alfréd Hajós of Hungary became  the first Olympic Champion in swimming winning the 100 metres and 1200 meters half of the swimming medals on offer.

" Alfréd Hajós, Hungary -the First Olympic Champion in swimming "

Alfréd Hajós, Hungary – the First Olympic Champion in swimming. Public Domain.

"The palestra at Olympia."

The Palestra at Olympia. Source: Wikipedia.

~ by abstraktbiblos on Saturday, 16 August, 2008.

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