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Jakarta Post

Accepting defeat like a champion

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Jakarta   /   Fri, May 3, 2019   /  11:32 am
Accepting defeat like a champion President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo greets his rival, Prabowo Subianto, during a recent presidential debate. (The Jakarta Post/Donny Fernando)

In tournament sports, one’s victory is only achieved by another’s defeat, and athletes understand and accept that defeat is the only logical outcome aside from victory — and that there can only be one victor. Spending much of my earlier life on the national fencing team and having learned from world champions, I witnessed that true champions are neither undefeated nor recognized by the number of gold medals they earn; the term “champion” is a trait, a mark of a true sportsman. A noticeable characteristic of champions can be seen in how they accept defeat: they respectfully recognize their opponent’s victory, use the defeat as a lesson to do better, and never sink to defeatism nor find excuses for their defeat. On the other side of the arena, there are also those who allow themselves to win at any cost, to the point of bending the rules or even...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.