Sometimes It's True: Winning Isn't Everything.Based on recent headlines, it would be tempting to think of the Olympic Games Olympic games, premier athletic meeting of ancient Greece, and, in modern times, series of international sports contests. The Olympics of Ancient Greece
Although records cannot verify games earlier than 776 B.C. as a big business in which professional athletes, sometimes pumped up on performance-enhancing drugs This article or section needs sources or references that appear in reliable, third-party publications. Alone, primary sources and sources affiliated with the subject of this article are not sufficient for an accurate encyclopedia article. , compete for lucrative commercial contracts.
But before you let your cynical imagination run wild, consider the case of two American athletes competing recently for one spot on the U.S. Olympic tae kwon do tae kwon do
Korean martial art resembling karate. It is characterized by the use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced for sport, self-defense, and spiritual development. In sparring, blows are stopped just short of contact. team, Esther Kim Esther Kim (born 1988, California, USA) is a prize winner of several international violin competitions, including the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition for Young Violinists and the International Competition for Violin and Viola - Bled, Slovenia. and Kay Poe.
After all the preliminary bouts, the final match came down to Kim and Poe, close friends who had trained together for 13 years. The winner would qualify for the Olympic Games in Australia this September; the other would stay home.
Trouble was, Poe, 18, had dislocated dis·lo·cate
tr.v. dis·lo·cat·ed, dis·lo·cat·ing, dis·lo·cates
1. To put out of usual or proper place, position, or relationship.
2. her knee in an earlier match. Unable to fight, she was compelled to forfeit, despite having previously beaten Kim. That's when, for one brief shining moment, the Olympic spirit The Mission: "To build a peaceful and better world in the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play - Olympic Spirit flared up in Kim's heart. The 20-year-old told her friend she would drop out of the match, guaranteeing Poe a chance in Australia for a gold medal.
"It felt like the only right thing to do," Kim says. "It did hurt, but winning a gold medal isn't everything."
Contrast that with various recent events that have cast a pall on the Olympic flame: Investigators are currently examining whether officials in Salt Lake City made illegal payments and gifts to Olympic officials to win the city the right to host the 2002 Winter Games. Australian representatives made similar payments to bring this fall's Games to Sydney.
Add to that a series of drug scandals in which athletes have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs to boost their bodies into the gold-medal range--including the suspension last summer of two Olympic gold medalists for drug use. Not a pretty picture--and all the more reason Kim's sacrifice will stand out as one of this year's Olympic highlights, even before the Games have begun. Poe, in return, plans to buy Kim a ticket to Sydney.