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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

1 August 2012: Ann Saunders, St Laurence Catholic Church

Sportsmanship - an example to us all

What a lead up to the Olympic fortnight! Jonathan Marray was the first British player to win the Wimbledon Men's Doubles' Title in 76 years and Bradley Wiggins, after 2,173 gruelling miles, became the first Briton to win the Tour de France since it began in 1903.

Their sportsmanlike manner is to be applauded. Marray (not to be confused with Murray) confessed to the umpire that his racket had touched the net after a winning volley and therefore conceded the point in a critical 3rd set tie-break, but he warmed our hearts. He later explained, 'I couldn't really look myself in the mirror, if I had taken the point when it wasn't mine to take.' Wiggins was called 'Le Gentleman' by the French media after the race was sabotaged with tacks on the road, and Wiggins slowed the peloton, in order to help a key rival who had suffered a puncture. No wonder the fans were shouting, 'Allez Wiggo!'

Ernie Els who clinched the British Open Golf Title after Adam Scott had bogeyed the last 4 holes said, 'I feel for Adam Scott, he is a great friend of mine. We both wanted to win so badly, but I really feel for him.' Els was not at first ebullient in his success; he thought of his friend first.

If only we could regularly apply these same principles in our daily lives and in business. The headlines last week in one paper read '...knighthood next for wonderful Wiggins' and below was the very stark antithesis, 'BBC tells stars to dodge tax.'

Let us hope we shall see the indomitable but sportsmanlike spirit during the Olympics, as in the days of amateurism and before mega-millions' sponsorship. 'Fight the good fight with all thy might' but please do it fairly.

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