A fencer displayed an act of sportsmanship during the Italian Under 23 épée championship by choosing not to take advantage of her injured opponent and friend.
Fair play in sports is a changing concept and is generally waved according to emergencies. People associate fair play with obeying the game's rules to accept defeat, but that is not always true. The words, "friendship is worth more than a victory," touched many hearts, as did the sentiment of not striving for a win against an injured opponent who is also a friend. These actions resonate with those who have experienced neither victory nor defeat. Emilia Rossatti's display of sportsmanship in paying tribute to friendship highlights the enduring value of kindness.
According to Italy 24, Rossatti, a Ferrarese fencer from the Bernardi Academy, was up against Gaia Traditi of the Fiamme Oro at the women's final of the Italian Under 23 épée championship. With only seventeen seconds to go and Traditi leading the game to 12-9, she steps back to keep pressure from her opponent and falls to the ground on her ankle. By the rules, only minutes were available to tend to the injury and the medic rescued Traditi and put her back on her feet. She battled to maintain a straight stance and eventually staggers and loses her balance. In any other circumstance, her weakness might serve as an invitation for the opponent and if Rossatti wanted it, she could have seized this chance and won.
Campionato italiano U23 di spada, a Vercelli. Gaia Traditi è in vantaggio 12-9 ma si infortuna a 17" dalla fine. Si rialza, zoppica. L'avversaria Emilia Rossatti potrebbe rimontare. Invece sceglie di rinunciare all'assalto.— Lia Capizzi (@LiaCapizzi) April 15, 2023
L'ABC dello sport: il fair play
(video @Federscherma) pic.twitter.com/R7FAXLZX5w
Instead, she remained motionless and gave up on the game. Rossati began to move back and forth to cut time and she did so not out of compassion but out of loyalty. Traditi cried again and this time not because of pain but because she understood the gesture of her friend, Rossatti. Time is over and the duo embraced one another, with Traditi as the winner and securing a place at the European Championship next May in Budapest. On the podium, tears become smiles and Traditi points to Rossatti and says, “I don’t know how to thank her." Rossatti adds, “I made this decision, so just and important, with Riccardo Schiavina, her coach, saying, “Fencing is one thing, but loving each other is another."
Rossati refuted the common belief that the primary objective of playing any game is to win by demonstrating that friendship, love, and loyalty transcend traditional notions of sports. Sometimes, you win and lose, but to lose graciously and congratulate winners with good peace is another form of fair play. The clip from the match went viral on the internet, with many lauding Rossatti for her spontaneous act of kindness and for enhancing the values of a true sportsperson.
"Proud to be Italian, these two girls show us the spirit inside every sport," wrote @lauraleonardi0712 on Instagram. "This is wonderful and made me cry. This is how sports should be," said @farnaz.esmaeilzadeh. "Class act. It’s so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Nothing compares to a safe & fair play for a sportsman and above the prize, they both got the gift of friendship forever!" added @bluegemist. "Wow, you don’t see that level of sportsmanship and consideration. Exactly why I must become an Olympian. I love these moments and this example is another testament to humanity with discernment," commented @oneeartheddie.