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Once again I had the radio on while bunching roses.  Today it was ABC Grandstand, not because I lurve listening to sport but it was really the best of a bad Sunday lot.  Anyway, they had a segment on courage with listeners calling in and everyone sharing their favourite stories of sporting courage.  This made me consider the concept of courage.  To me, courage is fighting severe illness/behaving selflessly for the benefit of others where there is risk to yourself - that kind of thing.  I did agree that the example of Lance Armstrong returning to competitive cycling after fighting cancer is somewhat courageous (I think the fighting cancer part is more courageous personally) and the example of the surfer who returned to surfing after a shark attack and losing an arm warrants comment as she overcame fear and adversity.


Saying that a triathlon who falls during the cycling stage, skinning themselves and breaking a collarbone only to get back on their bike, complete that stage and go on to do the running part is not courageous to me.  It is downright stupid and irresponsible.  There were many examples of this kind of  "courage" trotted out by the guys on the radio and by their listeners and it was only when I considered what my definition was of courage that I realised why I was getting more and more irritated.

Am I being too harsh?  Is this kind of behaviour courageous?   Many of these athletes behaved in the latter way for the benefit of their team so they wouldn't suffer as a whole.  Is this noble or taking the cause too far?  Do we really put so much emphasis on sporting achievement in this country that we confuse acts of "professionalism" (where pro athletes will continue injured for their team) with acts of courage?


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I hear you. Bravery, as posed to stupidity, is about doing "helpful' things in the face of adversity. So, if the guy had that injury and pushed on to save someone from a burning building etc.

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