114TEACHING VALUES SECTION 4 THE FIVE EDUCATIONAL VALUES OF OLYMPISM READING Grace Under Pressure: Michelle Kwan ( USA) Nobody likes to lose an important competition. It is very difficult for an Olympic athlete to lose a medal that LIVINGTHE BALANCE THESE TWO READINGS DEMONSTRATE THE COURAGE AND DIGNITY THAT COMPETITORS AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES POSSESS. 20 Quoted in Brennan, C. USA Today. com, 11 February, 1999. Left Nagano 1998: Figure Skating, Women's Singles – Michelle Kwan ( USA). everyone thought they would win. It is very difficult not to show your disappointment. It is very difficult to answer questions from the media. It is difficult to carry on when you know that the dream of your life will not come true. In the women's figure skating competition at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, a young teenager, Michelle Kwan from the USA, showed the world how to accept crushing defeat in the spirit of fair play. Kwan was expected to win the gold medal. She was the World Champion; in most of the competitions during that year she had been the best. But on the night of her Olympic competition a very young team- mate, Tara Lipinski, skated an incredible programme and defeated Kwan in the final scoring. Kwan received the silver instead of the gold medal. The real story however, was the way that Kwan acted after the competition. At the concluding press conference she treated Lipinski like a good friend and said simply," This might not be the colour of medal that I wanted, but I'll take it… that's life, right?" 20 " The way she handled herself, she'll be remembered forever. She's one of the classiest athletes you could every find," said one observer. Another said," I have never seen anyone cope with crushing defeat with more poise, dignity and maturity than a teenage girl named Michelle Kwan." FOR DISCUSSION Why do people admire the way Michelle Kwan acted after she won a silver, rather than a gold medal in figure skating? Do you admire her? Why or why not? What would happen in a contest if there wasn't a winner and a loser? How do athletes who are poor losers act after they are defeated in a competition? Why do you think they act this way? What are the consequences of this poor behaviour on other athletes? On spectators? On the sport? How could you show respect for your opponents or for another team during a sports competition? How could you show that you are a good loser after your team is defeated in a competition?
TEACHING VALUES AN OLYMPIC EDUCATION TOOLKIT SECTION 4 THE FIVE EDUCATIONAL VALUES OF TEACHING VALUES115 SECTION 4 THE FIVE EDUCATIONAL VALUES OF OLYMPISM ACTIVITYSHEET Tell a story about a time when you or someone in your community lost an important competition. How did you feel? Why do you think you felt this way? CHECKLIST ACTIVITY 1 1