How not to win
Going for glory? Well, just remember that winning isn’t everything. For all those wannabe champions out there, heed the warnings of the Antiguide to Winning: what not to do.
From the wonderboy who overcame cancer to win seven Tour De France victories, to the drug cheat scorned by people the world over and stripped of his titles, Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace has been sharp and swift.
He may have inspired millions to take up cycling, and provided hope and assistance to cancer victims through his charity efforts, but Lance Armstrong will be likely be remembered as nothing more than a cheat.
To top it all off, despite the masses of evidence against him – including a 1,000-page dossier with sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 cyclists with knowledge of the disgraced champion’s doping activities – Lance can’t even bring himself to admit to what he’s done, instead parading around like he’s the victim of a massive conspiracy.
Don’t win a Pyrrhic victory
Poor old King Pyrrus of Epirus lost so many troops in his defeat of the Romans in two battles in 280 BC that his very name has come to describe a victory won at too high a cost.
It is said when someone congratulated the king after one of these fights, Pyrrus replied: “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”
He’d lost a huge chunk of his invading army, while the Roman camp was continually filling up with fresh men raging with anger at their losses on the battlefield.
He may have won the battle, but he went on to lose the war.
Don’t forget its just a game
In an 1994 incident that sounds too bizarre to be true, US ice skater Tonya Harding orchestrated a vicious attack on rival competitor Nancy Kerrigan in the lead-up to the Winter Olympics.
Tonya’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly hired an associate to attack arch-rival Nancy Kerrigan after a practice session for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.
The goon smashed Nancy’s knee with a iron pipe, forcing her to withdraw from the Championships, which Tonya duly went on to win. Nancy wasn’t seriously injured however and went on to claim Olympic silver.
Tonya only managed eighth at the Olympics, and was later convicted in relation to the assault, banned from competitive figure skating for life, and stripped of her Championship title.
Don’t be arrogant
When Sally Field won a Best Actress Oscar in 1984 for her role in Places in the Heart, she made one of the most infamous acceptance speeches of all time.
She spent most of it harping on about finally getting the respect she deserves as an actor, and how much better it felt to win this award than her first Oscar (for 1979’s Norma Ray).
Field finished her speech with the line: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”
She was trying to quote the line “You like me,” from Norma Ray, but few people realized and she’s been ruthlessly parodied ever since.