In December 2012, Spanish long-distance runner Ivan Fernandez was trailing behind Olympic bronze medallist Abel Mutai during a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarra. Mutai was leading comfortably until he pulled up 10 to 20 metres short of the finish line thinking the race was already over.
Instead of passing Mutai, Fernández Anaya slowed down and told Mutai to keep running. Since they didn’t speak a common language, the Basque runner gestured frantically at Mutai and pushed him forward to victory.
A reporter asked Ivan, “Why did you do that?”
Ivan replied, “My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life where we push and help each other to win.”
The journalist insisted “But why did you let the Kenyan win?”
Ivan replied, “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win. The race was his.”
The journalist insisted, and again asked, “But you could have won!”
Ivan looked at him and replied, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honor in that medal? What would my Mother think of that?”
Values are passed on from generation to generation.
What values are we teaching our children?
Let us not teach our kids the wrong ways and means to WIN.
Instead, let us pass on the beauty and humanity of a helping hand. Because honesty and ethics are WINNING!