Sometimes the losers have the better story

Sometimes the losers have the better story

There's a great quote about winning and losing that comes from the Netflix series Losers.

It's buried in the last instalment of the eight-episode series, which is odd given it includes a statement that really defines the show.

That last episode looks at the career of French golfer Jean van de Velde, who is best known for losing the British Open in 1999 after blowing a three-stroke lead going into the final hole.

In that episode a French journalist says - and I'm paraphrasing from memory here - if we say we learn more from losing than winning, why don't we concentrate more on the story of these losers?

It's a good point; while winning may be hard, the result itself offers the proof the effort you put in was worthwhile. Michael Jordan worked ridiculously hard on his basketball skills, so when he won all those titles with the Bulls, it was seen as a just reward for all that work.

But what about the losers? They worked hard too but didn't win. Obviously there is something else that drives them to keep going, or maybe they're able to draw something out of losing that actually made the result valuable.

As the name of the series suggests, Losers looks at the stories of eight losers. As well as van de Velde, there are also episodes focusing on black French figure skater Surya Bonaly and champion boxer Michael Bentt.

It also looks at more niche sports, such as curling, sled-racing and ultra-marathon running.

It's a testament to the sports people that they chose to take part in a show called Losers, with all its negative connotations, and to filmmaker Mickey Duzyj, who found them and got them to tell their stories.

And their stories aren't really about the losing itself but how they react to it. Some use it to motivate them to eventually win in that sport, for others it becomes an excuse to leave and do something else they actually enjoy.

Others still find that their failure actually inspired others, in almost the same way as it would if they'd won.

It shows how sports can actually deliver lessons greater than "be a winner".

Perversely, Losers is a real winner of a show.

This story Sometimes the losers have the better story first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.