Inspirational Story – Winning at All Costs?
Have you ever heard, “facts tell, stories sell”? We’re emotional creatures and tend to remember all stories, especially an inspirational story, so much more than facts. Another example of this is edutainment, the delivery of training through stories. So as I came across this story, it made me wonder about sharing an inspirational story like this in my blog with you. Let me know your thoughts after reading this…
The Winning Story of Ivan Fernandez Anaya
On December 2, Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line.
Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.
Ivan Fernandez Anaya, a Basque runner of 24 years who is considered an athlete with a big future (champion of Spain in the 5,000 meters two years ago) said after the test,”I didn’t deserve to win it,” says 24-year-old Fernández Anaya. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”
Fernández Anaya is coached in Vitoria by former Spanish distance runner, Martín Fiz, in the same place, the Prado Park, where he clocked up kilometers and kilometers of training to become European marathon champion in 1994 and world marathon champion in 1995.
“It was a very good gesture of honesty,” says Fiz. “A gesture of the kind that isn’t made any more. Or rather, of the kind that has never been made. A gesture that I myself wouldn’t have made. I certainly would have taken advantage of it to win. I wouldn´t have done it. I would have taken advantage of the mistake to win.”
Fiz says his pupil’s action does him credit in human if not athletic terms. “The gesture has made him a better person but not a better athlete. He has wasted an occasion. Winning always makes you more of an athlete. You have to go out to win.”
Anaya disagrees by stating, “But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.”
He said at the beginning: unfortunately, very little has been said of the gesture. And it’s a shame. In my opinion, it would be nice to explain to children, so they do not think that sport is only what they see on TV: violent kicks in abundance, posh statements, fingers in the eyes of the enemy.
What do you think about this inspirational story about winning at all costs?
What would you have done? Is winning all that counts? I wonder if I had put in years of training and time into my one goal, and I see the opportunity for it to happen based on another’s human error, would I take it? It’s an interesting question to ask yourself, and I’m not even sure there’s a right answer here but it definitely makes you think, “What would I do… and why?”
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Personally, I’ve done a lot of reflection on it but I’m not sure I would really know until I’m in that situation… you?
P.S. – Here’s a top 10 inspirational story of mine that I personally think should be our philosophy for winning at all costs. << Click Here (WARNING: I tear up every time I watch this video)