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Thursday, June 7, 2012

College runner shows us the meaning of sportsmanship

It’s easy to find—and we sometimes write about them here—examples of poor sportsmanship, as demonstrated at times by professional athletes.  But it’s much more heartwarming to focus on times when individuals in sport really capture the essence of sportsmanship, showing that you can be an elite athlete/competitor and still handle situations with grace.

One such individual has captured attention in recent days—a long-distance runner named Meghan Vogel, a student-athlete from a Division III school in the United States.  After seeing a fellow runner fall in front of her, rather than run by and “get ahead” in the race, Meghan stopped, helped her fellow competitor up, and proceeded to assist the fallen runner to the finish line.

The story is well-detailed at ESPN.

This brings to mind a situation from a few years ago, also in women’s collegiate sports in the United States, when a player hit a home run, but fell rounding first base and suffered a serious knee injury.  She couldn’t get up, but a rival player went over, picked up her opponent, and carried her around the rest of the bases to ensure the player would receive credit for her home run.

We don’t see (or at least hear about) these kinds of acts of selflessness often enough, but when we do, we should highlight and celebrate them.  Because every once in a while, in a very competitive world, individuals sometimes stand above the crowd and show that sports—and life— is, in the end, about much more than winning and losing.

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