Thesis: Sport is ultimately about the desire to win, but not to win at all costs.
The most common question athletes are asked is “What motivates you to go on?” Motivation lays the foundation for sporting excellence. No athlete would be able to take on the countless hours of training, putting in their sweat and tears if there is no driving force behind their actions. There may be different types of motivation. Some are in for the pride, others for the prize, but behind every motivation is the competitiveness of the person. the Having the desire, wanting to win, is a trait every athlete has. As Vince Lombardi once said, ‘Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.’
Take Usain Bolt for example. The first man to win a “double-double”: two consecutive golds in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the 100m sprint, he is also the record holder of various track and field events in the sporting scene. With the list of achievements, it should be enough for him. Yet he keeps going. His motivation? To keep his legacy. He says in an interview ‘It just takes one championship for people to start writing “well, he’s not that good now”. I have to protect my legacy and make sure that never happens.’ He has to keep winning to protect his legacy and that in itself in competitiveness, to make sure that he is the one on top.
The sad thing about winning is that it is not easy to stay on the top. Even the best will succumb to age and will be replaced by the younger and stronger generation of athletes. It is then important for an athlete to understand that they have to think from their fans’ point of view. Their fans will not take it easy to see a record holder fall to a fresh athlete in the sporting scene. Famous athletes like Michael Jordan and Yao Ming withdrew from the game at their highest point. Sport is not always about winning at the cost of everything, but to give and take to achieve the best results possible.