Thursday, 22 August 2013

Taking a leaf out of Jesse Owens' book

Lately I've blogged about ethics in sport, not least because, to me, sport operates as a kind of mirror of our moral and ethical compass. Sportspeople are role models; their behaviour affects not just youngsters but adults, too. A society that condones institutionalised cheating in sport is likely to be one with ethical problems elsewhere. As such, we could all do with taking a leaf out of the great American track and field athlete Jesse Owens' book. I particularly like this quote by Owens, who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics:

In the end, it's the extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more than that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?

Jesse Owens in 1936