Competition can, and should, bring out the best in us. That is why sports are played. They are not played simply to win, they are played to learn how to win. And this process includes respecting your opponents.

Here are a few instances from last year which proved the same. 

1. When Virat Kohli went to congratulate Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan registered victory over India in the T20 World Cup opener.

2. When Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi decided to share Olympics gold instead of going for a jump-off.

3. When Belgium’s Claire Michelle came last in the Olympics triathlon, it was her competitor Lotte Miller who reminded her who she is – “a f*cking fighter”. 

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4. In a tear-jerking video, a South African swimming gold medallist was surrounded by her American opponents as she could not believe she had won.

5. When Simone Biles went and congratulated the Russian gymnastics team captain Angelina Melnikova after the country’s victory over the USA. Melnikova there couldn’t believe it, and we get that.

6. When Steve Johnson jumped over the net to help Gael Monfils, who had suffered an injury during their US Open match.

7. This is an off-the-court incident but deserves to be on the list.

Neeraj Chopra took a stand for his Pakistan opponent Arshad Nadeem after a troll army started targeting the latter. “Sports teaches us to be united,” he said.

8. When Finland fans gave their national flag so that Christian Eriksen could be given some privacy on the pitch after his unfortunate heart attack.

9. As a gesture of appreciation, American swimmer Caeleb Dressel gave his gold medal to Brooks Curry who swam for him in the prelims.

10. Japan’s Momiji Nishiya and Brazil’s Rayssa Leal after winning street skateboarding medals. They are both 13.

These lift our spirits.