Kenyan runner Abel Mutai was only a few feet away from the finish line, but he had gotten confused with the sign and stopped, thinking he had finished the race. A Spanish runner, Ivan Fernandez, was right behind him – realizing what was going on, he started screaming at the Kenyan to keep running. Mutai didn’t know Spanish and didn’t understand. Realizing what was happening, Fernandez had pushed Mutai to the victory.
A journalist asked Ivan: “Why did you do this?” Ivan replied: “My dream is that one day we can have the kind of community life where we push and help each other win.”
The journalist insisted: “But why did you let the Kenyan win?” Ivan replied: “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win. The race was his.”
The journalist insisted and asked again: “But you could have won!” Ivan looked at him and replied: “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of this medal? What would my mother think of this?”
Values are passed down from generation to generation. Let us not teach our children the wrong ways to WIN. Instead, let us pass on beauty and humanity with a helping hand. Because honesty and ethics are THE WINNERS.
The incident happened in December 2012 during a cross country race at Burlada, a municipality in Navarre province, Spain. The above story was published on 9 June in the Facebook of French media RugbyCleek.