Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Andriy Shevchenko and the joy of sport

Its rare that i'm minded to write about something other than athletics but watching a bit of last nights Ukraine v Sweden football match gave much food for thought. And in particular watching Andriy Shevchenko playing for host nation Ukraine.

Here is a guy who has had a stellar career by any measure, scoring goals for fun, winning championships across Europe and making a pile of cash into the bargain. He made his international debut as an 18 year old and in recent years as age has blunted his strikers knife he often cut a frustrated figure in club and national colours.

And then there was last night. An early miss that he would have buried in his pomp left you wondering whether he was in the line up just to please the supporters and paymasters. But it didn't seem to affect him, he kept making runs, getting into position and played with a smile on his face. You got the sense that being on the pitch, in Ukraine, playing for Ukraine was reward enough and he was going to enjoy the moment for all it was. And as runners we know that when you go into a race with that mindset, just intent on having a blast, then anything can happen.

For Shevchenko the miracles started to happen in the second half as he scored two goals (which the experts tell me were a master class in 'movement') and the sheer joy on his face as he celebrated with his team mates and supporters was something to behold. There is a lesson in there for all sportsmen and not just the highly paid stars who choose to 'retire' from international football. The journey is more important than the destination, so enjoy every minute of it and who knows how high you will fly.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I more than agree, Adrian. Nice piece of writing too.