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The Jack O'Donnell Foundation

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I am a Player

This POEM below was a FAVOURITE of Jack’s. He had it in a frame above his bed and
it encompasses his sporting CHARACTER and everything he felt about COMPETING


I want to play

I want to win

It matters to me if I win or lose

It matters to me how I play the game

I want to win without injustice or bad luck or regret

I want to own every pleasure and disappointment

I want to get lost in play

I want time not to matter

I want to do something more important than me

I cannot win alone

I need my team mates and my opponents to make me better

I trust, because I have to trust

I forgive, because I need to be forgiven

I play a game, not only a game

I try because that matters to me

I try because it’s more fun that way

I don’t quit because it doesn’t feel good when I do

I play with others, but I play against me

I learn when I play

I play when I learn

I practice because I like to be good

I try what I’ve never tried before

I fail, to fail smarter

I want to be better than I was yesterday

I dream

I imagine

I feel hard and deep

I hope, because there’s always a way.

Ken Dryden, July 21, 2003