These were spelled out in lights at the 18th Olympics at Tokyo:
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part; just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle…The essential thing is…to have fought well.”
The athletes who make it to the Olympic Games are already the best of the best from each nation. Each athlete has excelled in ways few of his or her peers will ever know. And yet, at the Olympic Games, only one will wear a gold medal–one a silver, and one a bronze. Those who are so accustomed to winning face the devastating possibility of losing before, not only their teammates, but their countrymen and, in this age of worldwide television, before the entire world. How vital it is for these athletes to keep their perspective–that winning is not the important issue at the Olympics, but the opportunity to compete…to try…and to give one’s best effort.
Regardless of the arena in which you compete, winning is not what is truly important. Giving your best effort to a challenge is what molds within you the lasting traits and character that are ‘better than gold’.