I like to win. My family will tell you I change into a fierce personality on the tennis court. And I like my teams to win.
So, as a Canadian born and bred, when the Canadian women’s and men’s hockey teams won gold at Sochi I stood and sang “O Canada”!
But then, also being a naturalized American citizen, I cheered as the medals piled up both for the United States and Canada – as well as for the athletes from any country who stood on the podium to be acclaimed for their speed, strength and skill.
Then I got to pondering: What about those who trained for years but couldn’t make their teams? Or the sole athlete chosen to represent some small country knowing they had no chance to medal? Or those injured early in the competition who had to drop out? What does “competition” mean for them?
“Do you think God made us competitive?” I asked two friends, both pastors, both athletes.
Steve, a cross-country runner, believes some people are born more competitive. But he says, at its best competition drives us to conquer a challenge. “It doesn’t have to be rooted in destroying the competition. You need other people to compete with. But you don’t compete just for the fun of it. You compete to win.”