Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I remember winning the "Good Sportsmanship" award.

Every year they'd make us elementary students compete in a Track and Field day. Every year I'd try my hardest, come in just about last in every event, feel like crying but manage to somehow hide it...and then be called up in front of everybody in the gym later at the awards ceremony and given the public humiliation of the Good Sportsmanship award. They only ever give that ribbon to losers, even little kids know that. I certainly knew it. So up to the front of the whole school I'd go, again feeling like crying but managing not to, shake the teacher's hand and take my ribbon. They may as well have written "Loser" on my forehead with a Sharpie.

I think I won four of those stupid ribbons. I didn't save them.

17 comments:

annacond said...

i never won even the good sportsmanship award, so obviously you were better at being a good sport than i was.

i remember when aj was in grade 2 and got the good sportsman ribbon. my heart broke, we all know she hates group sports (but put the kid in karate and watch her punch and kick, wow) and i knew she had bombed at track & field that day. but the Every Child Must Have a Ribbon dilemma runs to every generation of teachers i s'pose.

anyway, she said something i will never forget, and she was only about 7 years old. she said 'mummy, i got this ribbon cuz the teacher says i was always so happy for the other kids who won. he says i'm a Good Sport and a Good Cheerer. isn't that great, mummy? i'm a Good Cheerer.' (i think the teacher must've said cheerleader, but oh well) it made me look at those stupid ribbons a little differently after that. and yeah, she is a good sport!

Commenter said...

I know the feeling. My elementary didn't have "good sportsmanship" ribbons... oh no, it was worse. We had "Participation ribbons", which means "You suck, but here's a ribbon so you don't feel so bad about it." That's all I ever got, I had 6.. one for every single year of elementary. I feel your pain!
Shari

Spoke said...

Dies erklärt, warum Sie so ein Spiel Nazi sind!

Paula said...

So, calling me a game-Nazi, eh?

Hmmph!

jØè£ said...

"and I am utterly stunned at this years terrific performance! It is with great honor and recognition that we proudly and audaciously present on this day with certainty and eagerness, for a willingness to try and a determination that outstands all desire to fold, to Paula... the... p-A-rT-iciPa-TiOn AWARD!!! (clap clap clap clap)...

Paula said...

uh...maybe if they had said it like that, without the looks of pity and all, it would have been OK!

Thanks, Joel

Ian.Stone said...

I can remember in sports like basketball and hockey, when I was little, always getting the "Most Improved Player" medal. It might have been true, but it seemed like I got it every year, you would think that eventually I would improve enough to get something like an mvp or some other award, do the other players not improve? or just not as much as I did every year? or did they start out the year that much better than me and I had to catch up to them? lol, at least I was improving, I guess...

Kim said...

Yeah, I remember loving it when for 2 years of elementary I was in a school that totalled 12 people. Which ment that in track and field (you bet your butt we still did t&f) I got 1st place for my grade in every event(because I was the only one in my grade). Oh yeah, baby! Also, I remember getting 4th place in the 1 k run because I was one of the 4 who finished the run instead of stopping, yeah, actually I didn't finish it because I figured it would be embarrassing to come into the race 10 min after all the other kids, no ribbon, but I did get congratulated.....

Vic Nelson said...

"a school that totalled 12 people"
.......wow

I dunno why, but that's amazing to me.

stace said...

I was on the junior varsity basketball team in grade 10. I sucked! Well, I was fine during practice, but during every game I couldn't get one shot in the basket. Not a single one. Even the hand in the cookie car technique had no result in accuracy. So, I remember being benched alot and pretty much accepting the fact that I wasn't that valuable to the team.
I was in Track and Field one year in high school and was embarassed cause I was the last one to cross the finish line. Everyone was finished and I still had half the track to run. I felt like one of those geeky kids who become inspired to do something rediculously out of their league. All I needed to fit the persona of a complete geek was crooked glasses and booger hangin' out my nose. But, safe to say I do have athletic ability. Vive Le Soccer!!! And cross country running...in grade 7 I won third place. I would of tied for 2nd with my best friend (we discussed on crossing together), but the closer we got to the finish line the more she sped up. I was astonished with her betrayal for about 5 mins. and then let it go once I realized I still won third. But silver is so much prettier!
A taste of my own loser quality.

Kim said...

That's right, 12 people in my school. It was a private Christian school in Acme....my dad was the teacher. It wasn't large, but it was fun.

Spoke said...

the year I graduated outta grade 12 ( I did so!! cheeky monkey!)1981, there were 800 grade 8 kids....

canadiangirl said...

i have only about 250 kids in MY school so HA! (u actually graduated spoke?! lol) but i feel ur pain paula, i never placed in anything physical, if u don't count a yellow belt in karate (hmmm, i'm thinking of doing karate provincials this yr..... what do u think?)

Amber said...

I always only got the purple generic 'participation' ribbon they give to everybody at track and field. One time I won 3rd in frisbee throw. That was my only real ribbon. That was in grade 6 - but I still brag about it to this day.

Also, I won the good sportsmanship award for soccer when I was in grade 3-ish. I got a huge bag of plastic cowboys and indians (those ones that are all embedded into those oval plastic base stands... so they don't fall over)... I was so excited. Such a tom boy.

Paula said...

Amber, one of my fave toys when I was little was my plastic Frontier town, complete with cowboys and Indians, barrels and hitching posts for them to hide behind, and troughs for them to fall in when they've been shot. The town even came with a Saloon, swinging doors and all! YaHOOOO!!

Wilson Guitarist said...

I think I won a few of those...

Vic Nelson said...

" the purple generic 'participation' ribbon"

Ah! I remember those! I used to collect them from my class mates, tear them in odd ways and pin them all over my clothes and bag.

I don't remember things I've forgotten very often. That was a weird feeling. I'd like to thank you for it.