Sports is ultimately about the desire to win at all costs as the original ideal of competitive sports have been distorted over the years and winning is now the top priority of most professional athletes.
The appeal of money as well as the passion and love an athlete has for the sport has further emphasized the importance of winning in competitive sports, to an extent where ethics have been casted aside in order to achieve the desired victory. Doping is increasingly prevalent in today’s world due to the limits of human performance as well as the fact that the current testing system has largely failed to catch cheaters. According to sports ethicist Julian Savulescu, the probability of detecting doping is 2.9%. Over the years, we have witnessed cases of athletes using performance enhancing drugs to win international games. These athletes know that this is a violation of the rules, yet the burning desire to win outweighs their conscience and they eventually still took the risk. A recent example of a famous athlete that has been caught for doping is Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong confessed to drug doping in 2013 and commented that all his achievements would have not been possible without the use of drugs. While he was interviewed, Armstrong said that his “ruthless desire” to win at all costs was one of the main reasons for consuming the performance enhancing drugs. He also said although he knew there were penalties for drug consumption in sports, he proceeded with it thinking that he would not be caught. Therefore, from this example, we can conclude that sports is ultimately about the desire to win at all costs as athletes go against their morals and play for the sake of obtaining the victory they desire for.
However, it can be argued that not all athletes have the same mindset and attitude towards competitive sports. There are athletes who may desire to win but will not result to unfair play in competitions or illegal means to be victorious in whichever sport they participate. These athletes value the lessons learnt from the process of the competitions more than the outcome of the competition. For instance, our local athletes who participate in all sort of games including SEA games, Youth Olympic Games, as well as the Commonwealth games have been very passionate about bring glory to our country by aiming to win the different sport games. Nonetheless, despite losing many games, our athletes still show sportsmanship and congratulate their opponents for the win. Singapore Badminton player Derek Wong exhibited passion for the sport. Despite losing to stronger opponents, he is determined to train even harder and participate in the upcoming games. Therefore, as can be seen, sports is not ultimately about winning at all costs, athletes play the sport due to their passion and love for it.
Nevertheless, sports and competition are intertwined and the very presence of competition implies the outcome of a win or a loss. Moreover, the incentive of prize money will motivate athletes to aim towards victory when playing the sport. As society becomes more developed, people have become more materialistic and they desire for better quality life. Therefore, money is then valued as an important asset to athletes, as they like normal civilians, desire for better lives. As a result, athletes become more fixated on winning the game and they will be influenced into doing things against their conscience in order to win. Winning at all costs is becoming a more prevalent mindset in athletes around the world and thus, it can be said that sports is ultimately about the desire of winning at all costs.