The important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity."
- Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and "father of the modern Olympic Games".
Without failure, perfection would have no meaning. It is because of failure, that perfection is admired. If everyone could achieve a "perfect 10" in gymnastics, then it would become quite pedestrian, even boring.
When I look at champions like Nadia Comăneci, or Olga Korbut, I am in awe, but, ultimately, they don't define the sport of gymnastics (which is actually quite a dangerous sport). The people who define and make the sport of Gymnastics (or any sport), are not only the winners, but those who "fight well", even when they face failure, because that is the story of human existence. I think we can justifiably look at "failure" as a great act of courage, because all those who go into the sporting arena with hopes of glory, sometimes fail. And this is where Pierre de Coubertin's words mean so much:
....the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.