Allon Sinai's Beijing Diary: Zubari charted his own course

Only a select few possess the rare combination of qualities which make a winner.

allon sinai Olympics 88 (photo credit: )
allon sinai Olympics 88
(photo credit: )
Having talent and training hard are all very nice, but it's another element that separates Olympic medalists and the other 10,000 athletes who merely compete at the Games. You can't be taught to be a winner, you either have it or you don't. Shahar Zubari has got it and that's why he won an Olympic medal. "Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner," tennis legend Arthur Ashe once said. "Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory." Zubari has likely never heard of Ashe's words, but on Wednesday he exemplified them. Despite beginning the race from last position after turning back to the start line as he was concerned he may have fault started, the 21-year-old never lost his composure and remained mentally strong throughout. Zubari had every excuse to get frustrated and lose his cool, but he instead chose to overtake surfer after surfer on his way to Israel's first Olympic medal in Beijing. Only a select few possess the rare combination of qualities which make a winner and Zubari proved he is one of those exceptional athletes in Wednesday's race. His ability to get the result he needs and impose his will on the race give him an advantage over almost all of his competitors and all but ensure an illustrious career. American keynote speaker Denis Waitley perhaps summed it up best: "The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable," he said. "Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them."