I never thought something like this was possible. And neither did Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar.
We’ve all been brought up to think of sports as winning or losing. Because it is winning or losing. There’s no incentive for people to watch it otherwise. This is especially true with team games. So much so that we’ve had bar fights, murders, and all-out neighbourhood wars!
Individual games, however, are a different story. Most people root for the world champion or the ones who’re already famous for creating ripples in a given sport.
But sometimes, strange things happen. Like the men’s high jump final at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. After a tough few hours of competition, Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim were locked into first place. The official gave them the option to settle matters with a jump-off.
Mutaz asked if it was possible to have two golds instead? The official said, “that’s possible.” The Qatari looked at the Italian (who also happened to be his friend) and nodded; the latter accepted. And that was it! They had agreed to share the gold medals instead of going out on another round of war to prove who’s superior.
Both the athletes knew they had given their best, and there was nothing else to prove. To each other. Or to the world. It’s an excellent lesson for athletics and every other aspect that run’s the world’s machinery — why fight it when we can share it?
Too ideal? Well, sharing golds would’ve been too perfect until two men made it happen. No?