The guardian.co.uk had a good piece on famous moments when sportsmanship triumphed over competitiveness. It was written by Max Davidson who is promoting his new book It’s Not the Winning That Counts: The Most Inspiring Moments of Sporting Chivalry.
I wrote about Good Sportsmanship Stories and 3 Feel Good Stories of the Year last year.
Of the 10 stories from guardian.co.uk article, 2 were Athletics (Track and field) related.
I am surprised Eugenio Monti’s Bobsled story at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck didn’t make the cut. But who knows? It might be in the book at #11?
Here is a quick snippet from the article:
1. Lutz Long
Long jump, Olympics (1936)
German long jumper Lutz Long was hoping to win gold at the Berlin Games, where his main rival was the black American Jesse Owens. With Hitler watching, Owens foot-faulted twice in the qualifying round and was at risk of disqualification when Long suggested that he mark out his run again. Owens won gold, with the German landing silver. “You can melt down all the medals and cups I have won,” Owens said afterwards, “and they wouldn’t be worth the plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment.”
4. John Landy
1500m, Australian championships (1956)
Roger Bannister’s long-time rival, Australian distance runner John Landy had come agonisingly close to running the first four-minute mile two months before Bannister’s feat in 1954. He was targeting the world mile record again, in 1956, when Ron Clarke, who was heading the field, stumbled and fell. As the other runners streamed past, Landy stopped, jogged back to help the other man to his feet, then won the race, finishing just six seconds outside the world record.