Is “winning” really that important that athletes at every level are all too readily willing to make a deal with the devil and sell their priceless good name, character and integrity for the worthless thrill of an ultimately meaningless victory?
Bottom line: When you cheat and “win” you’ve distinguished yourself as a LOSER! You’ve corrupted your character, corrupted your name, disrespected your opponents and tarnished your sport! And when you LIE TO YOURSELF and others about this, vigorously insisting that you didn’t cut corners and instead played by the rules, then you’ve further cheapened your good name and made a mockery of the spirit of true competition.
Now I’m not just talking about LANCE ARMSTRONG here! This week the 7-time Tour de France “champion” was formally stripped of all of his titles for doping. The mountain of evidence against Armstrong was irrefutable and growing, yet Lance continued to vehemently deny any wrongdoing, insisting that ALL of his accusers were either “crazy,” “misinformed,” “jealous” or “disgruntled!” What I’m most sad about here is how Armstrong’s corrupt character and willingness to win at any cost has tarnished the name of a wonderful cancer fighter, The Livestrong Foundation. Of course the cancer organization he once founded has now distanced itself from Armstrong’s name.
It’s funny how everyone wants to be associated with a champion, but not one who cheated in order to get there!
Once you’ve sold your soul and good name to the devil, there are no refunds! You cant’t just immediately get it back!
Sports are supposed to be about battling on a “level” playing field. They are supposed to be about true competition, which is a “seeking together,” where equally matched opponents lift each other’s level of performance to far greater heights than they could hope to achieve against weaker opponents.In the spirit of “real” competition, your opponent is your partner and someone to respect! He/she is someone who will challenge you, stretching your limits in the process and making you better as an athlete and as a person!
CHEATING IS THE POLAR OPPOSITE OF THIS! There is NO RESPECT for your “opponent-partner” when you cheat! Only massive disrespect! And those who cheat show tremendous disrespect for themselves in their dishonesty!
In our winning-crazed society, somehow this true spirit of competition has gotten displaced by the compulsion to be #1 at any cost. The process of how you get to your victory has become much less important than that you get there. And as a result, we have junior athletes across all sports cheating, calling balls out, changing their score, lieing, doping, etc all the while their parents “watch,” yet allow this corruption to continue!
WINNING IS NOT THE ONLY THING! In fact, it is NOTHING if you cheat to get there! If you’re going to call yourself a champion, a REAL CHAMPION, then you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that you got there the RIGHT AND ONLY WAY, with class, integrity and respect for yourself, your opponent and your sport!