by Ilio Masprone – Publisher – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merit
MONACO. Being an Olympian demands much more than talent! Under the forcing pressure focus, determination, and a competitive spirit must fasten sportive abilities. Two athletes competing in the high jump, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Gimbor Tamberi recently showed the world another quality that is definitely worth championing. Both had a flawless series all the way through to 2.37 meters before neither managed the next level of 2.39 meters after three attempts. As the Olympic official suggested a jump off between the two friends and rivals to determine who would win the coveted gold medal they looked each other for a short moment before knowing there was no need, it was done! “Can we have two golds?” Barshim asked the official. The official agreed and the two men jumped for joy, grabbing each other in jubilation, and in friendship. This was the first time a gold medal had been shared since 1912. The joint gold medalists are best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. They work together. “This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message,” both men shared these words to the media.
Gimbo Tamberi was especially enthusiastic. He had suffered an ankle injury that prevented him from competing in the Rio Olympics in 2016, and it nearly put an end to his career altogether. So, this year he brought along his suffering, his long recovery, his determination, and the cast with the writings “Road to Tokyo 2020” in capital letters to inspire him along the way. For Barshim, the gold has topped off his already impressive palmarès, having received a bronze and a silver medal in 2012 and 2016 respectively. In addition to other unfortunate minor stops, two years ago the Qatari suffered the same injury as Tamberi who was so persuasive with his friend as to induce him not to give up. This was one more reason to be tied up and “share” the gold. What a story! Today, their achievement means so much more. These two chariots of fire, striving to do their very best for their countries, have provided a wonderful example to people practicing in sports. Along with their impressive athletic abilities they’ve summed up exactly what it means to partake with a generous and compassionate spirit. Today everyone’s feeling and hope is that their behaviour inspires the world of sport and beyond.