Recently, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from fans around the world and many of them have the same question—what does “sportsmanship” mean to me?
I decided to address this in a blog because it means different things for different athletes. I grew up with different experiences than my peers and that has helped shaped my view of the world of sports.
It Means Competing With Yourself
I’m a skeleton racer. Skeleton racing is a winter sport where you compete as individuals. Compared to bobsled athletes who rely on their team, I have to rely on myself.
My speed, accuracy, and strength are the deciding factors of whether I’ll make it to the finish line or break a record.
I’m not just competing with my peers; I’m competing with myself. I have worked hard and train rigorously to break my previous records.
It Means Learning from Your Mistakes
Every competition is an opportunity to learn something new. Whether you win or lose, you grow personally and professionally.
But there’s no better teacher than experience and failure. I firmly believe that failure is the key to success because you learn so many things from your mistakes.
The first time I lost, I thought I would be really upset. But instead, I was even more determined to improve my skills and better myself. For me, it was an opportunity to identify my weaknesses and figure out ways I could turn them into my strengths.
So, I trained every day until I overcame my weaknesses.
It Means Unlocking Your True Potential
A lot of people have this misconception that professional athletes are the best of their kind. They believe that they’re experts in their field and know everything there is about their sport.
The truth is, we don’t. I personally believe that there’s so much more we can do and that there’s plenty of room to learn.
When I look at my peers, I always look for an opportunity to learn something new. It can be anything. Perhaps, it’s the running method they use or the type of sled they use that makes all the difference.
I’m always looking for ways to improve. And this also means I look for new skills I can master. I’ll never know if there are other things I’m good at unless I try them.
For me, good sportsmanship also means drawing inspiration from peers and others around you. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know anything. As athletes, we’re always learning new skills.
Good sportsmanship means being able to identify your weaknesses and learn from your peers. It means working hard and constantly improving yourself.
To learn more about me and my journey to the Beijing Olympics 2022, visit my website.