image credit Huffington Post
The story of long distance runner Iván Fernández Anaya may serve as a welcome antidote. The Spanish runner, who trains in the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz, has become something of a cult hero for a kind gesture that helped an opponent win a race.
Fernández Anaya was trailing behind Olympic bronze medallist Abel Mutai during a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarra. Mutai was leading comfortably until he pulled up 10 to 20 metres short of the finish line thinking the race was already over. Instead of passing Mutai, Fernández Anaya slowed down and told Mutai to keep running. Since they didn't speak a common language, the Basque runner gestured frantically at Mutai who went on to win the race.
"I didn't deserve to win it," Fernández Anaya told El País. "I did what I had to do. 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."
Not to get all sentimental here, but it kinda warms the cockles of my heart.