West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Those Great Losers

Too often we talk about winning and fail to mention the other side of sports--"Losing!"

If you take the time to consider the latter of the two, I am sure you have witnessed some great losers. Yes, that's what I said "Great Losers." Now this may seem contrary to all the ideals we associate with the spirit of competition. Nonetheless, I can assure you that it's the courageous runner-ups in life that have played significant roles in the making of our glorious champions.

These individuals could have chosen more comfortable paths to walk, competing against those of lesser ability. But no, they preferred the hard road where their foremost adversaries would be traveling. The real losers of the world are not made of this fiber.

Now I can honestly note that some of my most thrilling and gratifying moments as a coach have involved such gallant losers. This breed of athletes has always inspired me. And I sometimes wonder who truly gains more from a sport, the winner that finds the going easy or the loser that works to the final buzzer. What do you think?

There's an old athletic saying, "No one ever remembers who came in second." This quote is not entirely a fair one. At the very least, one person will never forget his name--the champion!

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Updated August 10, 1997