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Practicing Sportsmanship Beyond Olympics

September 1, 2004 -- Minus the one glaring exception of the wrestler who refused to compete on the mat with another due to political reasons (doubt athlete's decision), it was refreshing to see sportsmanship being displayed at the Olympics in Athens.

Sportsmanship was evident regardless of the competitive nature and athlete's country. Nor did the threat of a terrorist attack and the very tight security measures diminish the display of respect by each athlete for their peers representing another country.

Oddly, it is very hard to find sportsmanship in politics whether it is internal or dealing with other countries. Oh, I understand there are many extenuating circumstances that make it difficult to even consider the thought of sportsmanship, which is... fairness in following the rules of the game. Talk about what is not practiced too often by many politicians!

Now, fighting terrorism has nothing to do with sportsmanship. The terrible attacks on September 11, 2001 and those since then, including the two downed airliners in Russia this past week, exemplify just the opposite. Terrorists sense of fairness is... death to all others with the rules being whatever it takes to achieve their goals and waiting for however long to do so.  And those allied against this global foe with no country boundary cannot waver in this unconventional war regardless of how long it might take.

Of course, we do have control over our own approach to sportsmanship, which if practiced by definition, could influence others close to us . . . Then who knows what could eventually happen elsewhere and with whom.

 

David G. Bancroft
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