Sportspersonship shme-portspersonship

If case you are living under some kind of rock, the Winter Olympics are presently taking place in Vancouver.  It is virtually impossible living in Canada not to know this.  CTV is broadcasting Olympic coverage and it seems that nothing else matters, not even the score of the Maple Leafs’ game.  While driving to the gym this morning, I heard an interesting story about sportsmanship and whether or not in the recent blowouts by both the Canadian women and mens hockey team, the Canadians should have stopped trying to score at a certain point.  It seems to me that this conversation would never take place in my homeland, the USA.  If a team is doing so well and is clearly playing at another caliber then their opponent, why should they stop running effective plays, perhaps practicing skills like passing, and generally having a good time?  Sure it is completely awful to be the losing opponent (yes I have been the losing opponent on the soccer field.  Even worse I was a goalie and was scored on so many times and literally beaten up by the force behind the other team’s kicks that my finger was broken) and it is a time to learn some important lessons.  Losing with dignity is equally valuable to winning with dignity.  In a game where sportspersonship is paramount (which are all games), regardless of skill level there is always something new to be learned.  Whether it is enhancing mental toughness on a personal or team level, working on communication on the ice or field, any athlete who doesn’t learn something new is missing valuable opportunities.

This is the same in the game of life, and I don’t mean the one by Milton Bradley.  If we do not look to all of our experiences to learn something new, whether they might be quantified as wins or losses, in the end we are the only one who misses out.

I applaud the Canadian teams along with the Slovakian and Norwegian teams.  All of the players were playing at the Olympics.  That is no small thing and they should all feel the success and the pride of their fellow citizens and hopefully learned something out on the ice, too.

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About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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