Living and Giving

Classic Pamela Positive: Two Golds Teach a Life Lesson

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In our recent Olympics, we faced a peculiar situation.

Gianmarco Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim reached the same result in the high jump. 

So what could they do? 

The Italian and the Qatari had a choice. They could have “jumped off” and competed in a final round against each other to have one, final winner. 

Yet as Barshim evaluated the situation, he asked the referee if they could both get a gold.   What a great option!  

The leading official said that was within the rules. Barshim was for it and Tamberi, too.

\”This is beyond sport,\” Barshim said. \”This is the message we deliver to the young generation.\”

Also keep in mind — these are two good friends. They have warmed up together and wished each other well. Now they can also celebrate a mutual gold together.

The friendship started long before Gianmarco experienced a tough injury and built his way back up in the sport. They were both in Paris for the Diamond League, featuring elite track competitions, and including countries from all over the world.  Yet Gianmarco couldn’t make his original height. He was devastated and demoralized. 

But he was not left alone. Barshim stormed after the depressed Gianmarco, and encouraged him to be the world champion that he was: 

Gianmarco said in the interview with Spikes magazine “Mutaz started knocking on my room and he wouldn’t go away. First I just wanted him to leave. He persisted and was shouting: Gimbo. Gimbo, please I want to talk to you. So I gave in and let him in. We talked. I cried in front of him. He tried to calm me down, and told me what he had to say: 

“Don’t try to rush it,” he kept telling me. “You had a big injury, you’re already back in the Diamond League. No one expected that. But now you need to take your time, don’t expect too much too early from yourself. Just see what happens.”

And Gianmarco did. He came back, he got his courage, and now he has a gold! He shares gold with his dear friend Mutaz. 

What a beautiful story! 

Can you build someone up with love? Can you care about their success as much as your own? Can you split being a winner with someone else? 

You don\’t have to be the only one who wins. Share your winnings with someone else. 

Celebrate that goodness – which is better than gold.

Both of You Can Win Gold, 


Background on Gianmarco Tamberi

Gianmarco Tamberi was born on June 1, 1992 in Civitanova Marche, Italy.

He is a professional high jumper who is known for competing with the clubs Bruni Vomano and G.S. Fiamme Gialle. He is also known for representing Italy in several national competitions and won the championships eight times including the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow in 2019 and the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016.

Gianmarco started gaining attention in 2011 when he competed in the European Junior Championships in Tallinn earning the Bronze medal in the High Jump category.

Background on Mutaz Essa Barshim

Mutaz Essa Barshim was born June 24, 1991. He is a Qatari track and field athlete who competes in the high jump and is the current Olympic Champion (2020). 

He is also the current World Champion and second best jumper of all-time with a personal best of 2.43. He won gold at the 2017 World Championships in London and at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. 

At the Olympics, Barshim won bronze at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, silver at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics Tokyo. He was the Asian Indoor and World Junior champion in 2010, and won the high jump gold medals at the 2011 Asian Athletics Championships and 2011 Military World Games. 

He holds the Asian record in high jump.


Fig1. by Andrew McClanahan/Photo Run, 2021, Fig2. by Pixabay, 2016, Fig 3. by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images, 2021, Fig4. by RODNAE Productions, 2021. Fig5. by Filip Bossuyt, 740 tamberi, Fig6. by Wikipedia

1. “Gianmarco Tamberi Biography”

2. Wikipedia® “Mutaz Essa Barshim” Gianmarco Tamberi, “My Friend Mutaz,” Spikes, 12 Jan. 2018,