Renato Martins Dornelas (inset photo), 19, from Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil:
A lot of people complain about today's culture of “everyone's a winner,” particularly when it comes to youth sports. They say we're raising a generation of wimps who don't know how to lose when we give every child a trophy or a ribbon, no matter how unskilled they are.
I guess I come down somewhere in the middle on this. I have no problem keeping score even at the youngest levels of competition, but I also don't think it's a bad thing for a six-year-old to walk away with a ribbon at the end of the season as an acknowledgment of his or her hard work and participation.
When I was in sixth grade, my school had a very simple competition. We had soccer, volleyball, and some chess matches. I decided to sign up for all three, focusing on my own prize: the opportunity to shout “I beat you!”
I know it sounds mean, but I really wanted to show some friends that I wasn't only capable of getting good grades and solving math problems. I wanted to show I could run faster, jump higher, and scream louder. Sports helped my self-esteem.
Above: Young boys battle for the ball during a soccer game in Havre, Montana.