The Importance Of Winning Athletes

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Introduction Why do people say "it 's not the winning but the taking part that counts"? It 's a phrase echoed by the founder of the Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who said "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well." Most people seem to agree that trying and loosing is more admirable than not trying at all. In practice, though, most people seem only to be interested in the medalists. In young children 's sporting events, last place is often rewarded with a 'wooden spoon ' or booby prize. Grown-up athletes don 't even have this to look forward to. Perhaps 'taking part ' is just a myth designed to cheer up the slowest children: to take the edge off failure. Many people would say otherwise. They say that effort, determination and striving to reach a goal are commendable in themselves. Winning athletes are those who combine this good behavior with natural talent. There are other goals to strive for apart from a medal. De Coubertin himself coined the motto "Cities, Altus, forties" - "swifter, higher, stronger" - for his Games. It is an ambiguous phrase, and one that could be taken to include striving to beat one 's personal best as well as going for gold. Competition is not unethical. It is reasonable that winners be rewarded, even if their victories have an element of chance (and all victories have); this is the essence of a game, and games are fundamental to humanity.

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