What is good sportsmanship? Is it congratulating your opponent? Accepting wins or losses with equal grace? Ensuring that none of your equipment is under-inflated?
Those are good for starters, but true sportsmanship lies somewhere beyond. It is a knowing that ignores logic and conscious thought, prompting action without regard to accolades or criticism. Consider this moment from a track meet:
More than a mere gesture, such an act is a fine example of courage and kindness. It’s not an isolated incident, either. Crossing space and time to Australia in 1956 reveals another moment of selflessness:
Athletes are expected to do their best; this is another aspect of good sportsmanship. Sometimes that “best” means holding back and allowing another player to shine:
The truly powerful thing about good sportsmanship is its voice. More often a whisper than a roar, the little everyday moments of good sportsmanship echo for years, building upon all that is beautiful in humanity and assuring each of us that doing the right thing will one day become natural, rather than newsworthy.
Do you have an example of good sportsmanship to share with us? Relate it in the comment section; we’d love to hear your story!