Here are 7 moments during sports competition where people displayed fair play in their behaviours.
1/ When a runner helps a fellow competitor to end the race, sacrificing her own performanc
They both ended up limping together for the remaining 2 kilometers, encouraging each other, and never giving up despite Abbey d’Agostino’s sprained ankle. They crossed the finishing line, arm in arm, before the injured athlete was taken in a wheelchair. A memorable moment for both women and also spectators who got a perfect example of sportsmanship and Olympic Games spirit!
2/ Football player performing first aid on one of his opponent during football match
The defender of the opposing team, Francis Kone, displayed first aid to the unconscious goalkeeper and saved his life, before the injured player was taken to hospital. After the game, Martin Berkovec, who was feeling better posted the following message on facebook to thank his saviour : "I would like to thank Francis Kone for rescue and emergency at today's game... I'm glad for the relief and thanks again!!!"
3/ No penalty for a football player thanks to his opponent
The referee didn’t accept and made Messi take the kick but, determined to not accept this penalty, he missed on purpose. His gesture was loudly applauded by supporters, and later during the season, the player of Barça was awarded for his sportsmanship and exemplary behaviour by his club.
4/ When fair play takes over winning in a tennis match
But the tennisman noticed that the ball ended up before the line, with the mark left by the said ball, and told the referee about that.His opponent earned a reprieve and actually won the set at tie-break (when there is equality in the set and the set is won by a margin of 2 points). In the last set Fernando Verdarsco also won and got the victory in the match. Something that Andy Roddick may have not predicted but the american’s display of sportsmanship was remembered for a long time, despite his loss.
5/ Canadian coach takes time to help russian skier at Sochi’s Olympic Games
At that moment Justin Wadsworth, the canadian coach, rushed to his side and, without uttering a word, helped Gafarov to change his ski so the last one could finish the competition, not for a medal but for his pride. This race ended with both cheers of the spectators for the competitor but also applauses for the gest of sportsmaship and caring behaviour from Wadsworth.
6/ A friendly advice and a victory in WWII
But few know that, during one of the competitions, a small piece of advice led Owens to a victory and forged a great friendship between two athletes of different nations. After two failed attempts to qualify for the final of the long jump competition, Jesse Owens was close to abandoning any idea of winning a gold medal. But a german athlete : Luz Long came to him before the last attempt and told him to change his mark and take off well before the foul line in order to avoid fouling the last attempt. Jess Owens followed this advice and managed to set up a new olympic record and get the gold medal.
Luz Long, who got a silver medal, was one of the first to applaud him at the ceremony and this day marked the beginning of a true friendship above any border or racist ideology until Long lost his life during a battle in 1943.
7/ The match of the century and a big applause
On September 1st 1972 in Reykjavik, Bobby Fisher and Boris Spassky both compete for the title of the world chess champion during a final match.
After the match ends, more than one thousand spectators attending the competition stood up to applaud Fisher’s victory and Spassky, despite the pressure of the consequences of his loss, joined them into a bigger acclamation. With Spassky having asked not to play in front of the cameras, there is no footage remaining of this gesture but the records, articles and movies relating this episode all talked about this proof of sportsmanship crushing any borders.
This display of fair play has a part in this top because, even if at the time it was not the case, chess has been recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee since 2000 and can also be, as a sport, used as a tool for development and peace as well as promoting good values.
Marianne is a french volunteer in Praxis organisation involved in the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace.