It’s been described as ‘The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”. It happened this past weekend. It is the Kentucky Derby.
The winning horse was not a favorite. It’s name is Animal Kingdom, and he went off as a 21:1 longshot.
What was unusual this year was a situation regarding the horse’s rider. Jockey Robby Albarado was originally slated to ride Animal Kingdom but was replaced by fellow rider John Velasquez (due to an injury suffered by Albarado earlier in the week).
By missing out on riding a winner, Albarado also missed out on a giant payday!
What happened today was a sign that true sportsmanship is alive and well.
Winning rider Johnny Velasquez today announced that he will offer up a portion of his winnings to displaced rider Albarado. His agent is also kicking in some of his share. The horse’s owners, Team Valor, are doing the same.
There is nothing in the rulebook which even begins to suggest that such a situation should be remedied in this way.
It simply comes down to sportsmanship which, according to the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, is described as: “conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport”.
Class. Pure class. In my opinion, anyway.
In an era where it often seems like the ‘good guys’ are being outshined by the ‘bad boys’ (perhaps because the bad boys simply make too much noise), this story was a total triumph for me.
Hats off to these true gentlemen of sport. may this story make its way around the world, permeating every level of every sport, showcasing what is means to be an competitive athlete.
Is there something you can do in your daily life, career, family, etc, to exude such a level of good sportsmanship?
Hold your horses, we have a winner!