The competition and the experience of defeat, Katia Rubio
Considering the needs of high performance imposed on athletes nowadays, overcoming the limits has become a principle and a recurrent issue among those who achieved the most: the winners. In their discourses, these athletes refer to the importance of having persisted, persevered and sought alternative ways to the difficulties imposed to build a victorious trajectory along their careers. In the structure of contemporary sport we observe a reproduction of the liberal model which privileges victory, although the three prizes are awarded in Olympic contests. This situation very often leads the silver and bronze medal winners to feel defeated, denying their feat, which is worthy of historical record. The unfoldings of defeat have not been studied properly, which contributes to an attitude of denial towards this situation, from both athletes and professionals that work in the sports universe. The aim of this paper is to present the living experience of defeat to Olympic medal winner athletes as well as its various representations in the contemporary social context.