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Putting the Spirit of Sport into Action

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The Spirit of Sport is important to athletes. Please read the stories of 4 athletes. Write which Spirit of Sport Values are demonstrated in each story.

Remember, the Spirit of Sport Values are –

Trading a silver medal to save a life
1988 Summer Olympics

Lawrence Lemieux was an Olympic sailor from Canada. During the 1988 Olympics, Lawrence was on his way to winning a silver medal, when he noticed that one of his competitors had fallen out of his boat. A sailor from Singapore was injured and having trouble keeping his head above water. Lawrence abandoned the race to save his competitor.

Lawrence did not win a silver medal in that race. He finished 22nd. During the closing ceremonies, Lawrence was given the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for Sportsmanship.

Can you identify what Spirit of Sport Values are related to Lawrence’s story?

Jumping in to help a competitor in need
1936 Olympics

Jesse Owens was a very successful track and field star from the United States. Jesse’s main competitor at the 1936 Olympics in Germany was Luz Long. Luz was a German athlete and was favoured to win a gold medal in the long jump.

Jesse fouled in his first two jumps. If he crossed the jumping line again he would be disqualified. Jesse was really discouraged. This was a lot of pressure on him.

Luz went over to Jesse. He introduced himself. Luz suggested that Jesse try jumping from a spot several centimetres from the line. Since Jesse almost always jumped further than the minimum required distance, he would be sure to qualify for the next round.

It worked! Jesse did not foul on his third jump. Jesse ended up winning the gold medal. Jesse even beat Luz’s record.

Can you identify what Spirit of Sport Values are related to Jesse’s story?

uz was the first person to congratulate Jesse on his victory. The two men walked off the track arm-in-arm.

The only thing I could do to maintain my integrity”

Ruben Gonzales was a very good professional racquetball player. In a tournament in 1985, Ruben was playing for the title of World Champion. It was a hard fought match. At match point, Reuben made a killer shot. The referee called it good. A linesman also said that it was a fair play. Ruben had won the match.

Ruben hesitated. He turned to his opponent and the referee declaring that his shot had skipped the floor. Ruben’s opponent ended up winning the match.

Can you identify what Spirit of Sport Values are related to Ruben’s story?

It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity,” said Ruben after the match.

If you win but don’t help somebody when you should have,

what win is that?”
2006 Winter Olympic Games (Turin, Italy)

Sara Renner was leading the pack during the women's team sprint cross-country skiing event at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. Suddenly, her left ski pole broke. Three other skiers passed her within seconds, and it looked as if her race was over.

Bjoernar Haakensmoen, a cross-country ski coach from Norway, stepped forward and handed Sara a ski pole. Sara could continue the race. In fact, it worked so well that Sara’s team (Canada) won a silver medal.

Bjoernar did not regret his decision to give Sara the pole. Bjoernar saw an athlete in trouble, he had the means to help, and so he did.

Can you identify what Spirit of Sport Values are related to Bjoernar’s story?

The Olympic spirit is the way we try to follow," Bjoernar said. "Without that, we are in big trouble. Every skier, every staff member from Norway follows that. If you win but don't help somebody when you should have, what win is that?"

Youth 1 – H2.1: Putting the Spirit of Sport into Action

© WADA – Version 2.0 – April 2009

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