In 1978, a young Australian swimming star named Lisa Forrest rocketed to an amazing lead in the 200 meter backstroke at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. At 14-years-of age, she might have come in first if she’d done what she said her coach told her to do. But, in her own words, she thought she knew better, and in the last 25 meters of the race an older and more experienced swimmer “mowed her down” and backstroked to gold.
Gracious In Victory, Magnanimous In Defeat
But, Forrest, who took silver, learned from her parents the importance of losing well. “Be gracious in victory,” they imparted. “Magnanimous in the defeat.” The next day, the following picture of the young athlete appeared in a daily paper with a caption that read, “Losing can be beautiful, too.”
All month long, my grade-school children have been practicing for the annual school track meet. They won some events at their local school and advanced to the larger meet, which was on Saturday. The final results haven’t been posted yet, but we already know they’re winners — no matter where they placed.
As I cherish their accomplishments evidenced in part by their growing collection of ribbons, I’m struck by the beauty of competition. Look at all the lovely colors! Fourth and fifth place in shades of pink, yellow and green are especially pretty. Winning and trying comes in so many different colors!
After the race, Bridgette said it bothered her to race against her friends. When I asked Sullivan if it bothered him he said, “No, I just put a blindfold on, otherwise, I couldn’t do it.”
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. — Proverbs 27:17