The need of fulfilment and a sense of peace is achieved only when you push others to do well and that is exactly what the Spanish long distance runner, Ivan Fernandez believes in.
It all started on December 2012 at the cross country race held at Spain’s Burnada. Kenya’s runner Abel Mutai was too close to the victory. But confused Mutai, due to language barriers, stopped 10 metres before the finish line, assuming he won. Noticing how baffled he was, Ivan Fernandez, a shining example of sportsmanship, acted in the best way. He pushed him to run, and guided him to reach the finish line rather than exploiting him. He mentioned, there was no real code of conduct that would have been broken had he overtaken him.
Just after the race, a journalist questioned Ivan about his actions, and he replied, “My dream is that someday we can have a kind of community life.” It was a race of integrity and not a long distance run. If you do right by others, it means that you have achieved not just a medal but respect from yourself and other people.
“Victory is sweetest when it’s earned and not when it’s exploited.” That’s exactly what Ivan did. As Ralph Ellison rightly says, “Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”
Only if all of us could be a little like Ivan, the world would be a better place.