In a world full of Lance Armstrongs and Lance wannabe …

Saturday, 19 January, 2013
In a world full of Lance Armstrongs and Lance wannabe ...
In a world full of Lance Armstrongs and Lance wannabe where winning is everything, it is important to remember the true reason we compete in sports, paradoxically, is not JUST about winning. International sports competitions should be about building international friendship on a clean competing platform. (see note 2)

And sometimes, even during the toughest and highest competitions like the Olympics, there can be selfless acts! Here is one selfless act that I LOVE in 2006!

Norwegian coach Bjørnar Håkensmoen gave [Canadian] Sara Renner a ski pole after hers was broken when a competitor stepped on it during the cross-country team sprint at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Norway’s athlete ended up fourth, implying that this selfless act of sportsmanship may well have cost the Norwegian team a medal.[1] Renner gave Håkensmoen a bottle of wine as a thank you, while other Canadians responded with phone calls and letters to the Norwegian Embassy. Canadian businessman Michael Page donated 8,000 cans of Maple Syrup to the Norwegian Olympic Committee to show his gratitude.[2] The incident was immortalized in a 2010 Winter Olympics television commercial.[3]”

At the end of the day, winning must NOT be everything. Thank you Norway, thanks for helping us but more importantly, how to behave in a selfless manner. You guys rock! World class athletes don’t just set examples by how many medals they have or how many world records they’ve broken, the selfless-act by Norwegian coach Bjørnar Håkensmoen inspire us to rise up to be more, to be noble. Here is an ad capturing the essence.

Yesterday, on Reno KRNV News 4 Forum, I and others expressed some strong views about Lance’s actions. The discussion start at about 5:09 (click here to jump directly to the spot).

I will never want to leave someone without means to make a living and be destitute. But Lance has made enough money (I will leave the morality of how he made those money for you to judge) for him and his family to live comfortably for life, so I am safer to be blunt in saying I have enough of Lance and don’t want to see him compete ever again and him promoting/selling anything. I respect my friends who are deeply affected by his story of fight against and winning his battle with cancer. But for me, I know people with cancer who behaves totally honourably without needing to resort to and falling so low as to try to win at all cost.

Note 1: If you ask me, Lance’s latest strategically targeted & planned TV appearances is nothing other than an insincere attempt to win back our broken hearts. Yes, his battle against cancer, his great charitable work, his drugs-assisted wins, his bullying, and all his lies are paradoxically inspiring, hurtful and insulting all at once. And Lance has #fail to win me back.

Have a read of Forbes, “Lance Armstrong and Oprah: Destroying What Was Left of His Reputation

Note 2: Think of jousting, it was a sport that people from opposing groups “compete” in a manner that sometimes could result in deaths just to show who is “better” in the sport.


Hannibal and Me – A book Review

Tuesday, 20 March, 2012

 Interviewing Andreas Kluth, author of Hannibal and Me, The Economist U.S. West Coast correspondent

Meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.” from Rudyard Kipling‘s poem “If –“, first read in “Hannibal and Me

Andreas Kluth is The Economist‘s US West Coast correspondent and author of a new book “Hannibal and Me: What History’s Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure“. I’ve been reading Andrea’s blog for some time, so I knew I would like his book but I ended up loving Hannibal and Me!

The following is my review of the book, video interview clips, plus some additional bonus materials about characters trimmed from the book.

*** Book Review ***

I love biographies in general and reading Hannibal and Me to me was like reading the crucial slices of lives of many interesting people’s stories of “successes“, “failures“, and sometimes “impostors” (successes that actually lead to failures, or failures that become foundation of future successes) all in one book woven into many cohesive lessons.

To give you an idea of the “who’s who” in the book, take a look of this partial list of characters featured in the book: HannibalAndreas (the author himself), Barack ObamaEleanor RooseveltSteve JobsAmy TanMeriwether Lewis (and Thomas JeffersonWilliam Clark), Douglas MacArthur and Harry TrumanLudwig ErhardPablo PicassoPaul CézanneTiger WoodsCleopatraLance ArmstrongLiu Shaoqi (and Mao Zedong), plus Albert Einstein.

In Andreas’ throughly researched and eloquently written Hannibal and Me, the lives of modern day people like Steve JobsTiger WoodsAmy TanEleanor Roosevelt, Douglas MacArthur and Harry Truman were woven into the spectacular venture tale of Hannibal, bring every characters to live.

Don’t let words like “history“, “military strategist“, “Hannibal” in the title deter you from reading the book. I had to study history for six years and pretty much hated every minute of it. Andreas’ Hannibal and Me managed to bring all these characters to life to teach me, Kempton, teach us, readers of the book, important life-changing lessons. I originally thought I would have to skip a few pages so I can get to the interesting/fascinating modern real life stories sooner. To my pleasant surprise, I ended up reading every page over a few days. I find the lives, decisions and actions of the charters in the book absolutely fascinating and illuminating.

Ultimately, each reader will learn different lessons from the book depending on our own life experiences and life stages. Hannibal and Me is one of the best books I have read for years. To me, the book crystallized some of the life decisions I have made over the last few years and will be making in the future. I know I will be re-reading Hannibal and Me again and again over time as I grow older and gain more experiences. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I did.

*** Video interviews with Andreas ***

Here is the main video interview clip. (My previous post about my multiple interview video clips with Andreas.)

Andreas on Eleanor Roosevelt Read the rest of this entry »


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