Read the remarkable story of one runner whose integrity and sportsmanship set an example to us all.
The Save the Dream Award for Sportsmanship is an initiative that allows us to celebrate exceptional individuals from the world of sport. It’s an opportunity to praise examples of remarkable fairness and integrity for young people to aspire to – an accolade our inaugural winner was more than worthy of.
Promising athlete Iván Fernandez Anaya was running in second place to Olympic bronze medallist Abel Mutai, during a Spanish cross country race in December 2012. It was with only metres to go that Mutai suddenly came to a stop, mistakenly thinking that he’d crossed the finish line. Iván soon closed the gap and caught up to his rival, with the chance to claim an unexpected victory – yet he didn’t. Instead of taking advantage of Mutai’s genuine error, he told him to keep going, guiding him over the finish line and letting him take first place.
“I didn't deserve to win. I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner.”
Iván Fernández Anaya
His inspiring story made an impact on a global scale. Despite the Spaniard’s humility, the significance of his generous actions were recognised by the sporting world and he was elected winner of the inaugural Save The Dream Award.
In the competitive environment of sport, it is all too easy to overlook integrity in favour of results – but by promoting an attitude of honest sportsmanship to our children, more athletes will choose to ‘do the right thing’ in the future. It is with people like Iván, and supporters like you, that we can continue to make this vision a reality.