Competitive at heart

Sunday, April 1, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:48 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
MU tennis players Katelyn McKenzie (left) and Raquel Wagner slap hands during their doubles match against the University of Louisville on March 12.

Since ancient times, people have been drawn to competition. In the first century A.D., thousands flocked to Rome to witness gladiators fighting to the death in the Colosseum. In modern times, the violence has dwindled, but the impact competition has on society is still present. This past February, it was reported that 800 million people around the world watched the Super Bowl on TV. Professional athletes dedicate their whole lives to achieve success in their sport.

There are many other reasons why people engage in competition. It brings them together through cooperation and hard work. It builds lifelong friendships among teammates. It’s the excitement of sitting around the TV with your best friends, enjoying cold beverages as your favorite team advances to the Final Four. It’s in the dugout at the World Series among the baseball players whose eyes are glued to the field. It’s the feeling of adrenaline pumping through the veins, of sweat dripping down the forehead, the joy of winning and the agony of defeat. These feelings are found on the soccer field at the World Cup. They’re found in living rooms, back yards and parking lots. Many people can experience these feelings in one way or another because competition doesn’t come in one form, expression, gesture or uniform. Competing can be grueling and painful, but as it brings people together, it becomes apparent that the most enjoyable aspect of competition is that it’s fun.

Old Dominion’s Kaylen Baxter struggles to break free from MU’s Josh Wagner during the Feb. 14 wrestling match at the Hearnes Center.
MU baseball players Daan Wise, Aaron Senne, Lendsey Thompson, Brandt Combs and Ryan Gargano stand and watch the game from the dugout as the Tigers played St. Louis University March 14. The Tigers won the game 19-1.
Eddy English reads his original poem out loud during MU’s poetry slam at Memorial Union on March 13. English won the competition for the emotional delivery of his words.
Sue She rams into Kim Peters during the women’s roller derby practice at the Empire Roller Rink on March 14.

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