Ivan Fernandez Anaya Is A Runner and A True Champion
Even if he did not win the race
This runner proved to be a hero and an example of goodness
Ivan Fernandez Anaya is a long distance runner who represents his home country of Spain in international competitions. He mostly runs cross-country and marathon events. He was born on June 10, 1988, and is now 32.
When he was twenty-four years old, Anaya showed the world that winning isn’t everything when he helped someone else win a race. He displayed the ultimate sportsmanship like conduct. He showed that he was a champion and a hero.
It happened at the Burlada Cross Country Race which was held in December 2012 in Navarre, Spain. It was an international race with athletes from different countries competing.
Abel Mutai is a Kenyan athlete who won a bronze medal in the London Olympics in the summer of 2012. He was an outstanding runner who was leading the race in Spain. It appeared that Mutai thought that he had passed the end of the race ten meters sooner than it had ended. Thinking he had already won, he stopped running.
Mutai looked back and saw that people were telling him to keep going. He did not know what they were saying. Anaya said, “But since he doesn’t speak Spanish, he didn’t realize it.” So Anaya guided Mutai to the finish line.
There is a video of Anaya shoving Mutai towards the finish line rather than to overtake him and win the race himself. Anaya could have easily been declared the winner by running ahead, but he chose to be a good sport instead. He made a decision which did not make him win the race, but he showed the world a better person.
Anaya realized that Mutai did not speak and read Spanish, so he had not been clear on where the finish line was. He could have easily run ahead of Mutai and taken the victory himself. Anaya came in second.
When he was questioned after the race, Anaya said:
“He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”
Anaya also said: “I dream that someday we can have a kind of community life.” In other words, a place where people would help each other and show kindness.
Everyone who watched the race was impressed by the kindness and consideration shown by Anaya. It was an indication of great character.
A journalist who thought Anaya should have won the race asked why he didn’t take the win since he was seconds away from the finish line. Anaya replied: “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honor of that medal? What would my Mom think of that?”
The world needs more people like Ivan Fernandez Anaya. He showed what true sportsmanship looks like. His act of kindness is considered as one of the greatest moments of good sportsmanship conduct in history.
Anaya is still running. Here is a Facebook post he made on December 24, 2020.
The year 2020 will be unique and unrepeatable because of the harshness of its days and the teaching of its time.
In honor of all the people who left and with love for all who follow..
We can learn from the example of Ivan Fernandez Anaya in whatever happens in our own lives. Being honest and true is far better than taking advantage of someone else’s mistakes to win. There is a lot of pain and suffering in the world, and we can show more love and acceptance for others.
More human kindness and courtesy would make the world a better place. Small acts of compassion and care can go a long way to improve relationships in the world.
Sometimes there are more important things than being declared the winner.