Comparing Competitiveness

Article by: Alice Ye

Anchor: Jeanne Dee

Cinematographer: Brian Molloy

Editor: Myles Rublee

It is a well-known fact any IASAS event is prestigious and any IASAS competitor or delegate must devote much of their free time into practicing and training for these events; however, because there are so many different IASAS events, they can vary drastically, just like Cultural Convention (known as Culcon) and IASAS sports do.

IASAS Culcon consists of Art, Music and Dance events, among others. Delegates from each category travel to a host school and participate in a convention that includes workshops of all sorts that span over three days and a prepared performance. The whole atmosphere is obviously much more relaxed and less competitive, as they are not ranked and there are no medals distributed. On the other hand, every sport and even forensics and debate place candidates in a ranking system. These opposing atmospheres present athletes and delegates with several degrees of stress, but which kind of stress is better? What allows for a ‘better’ IASAS?

Some people may say that intense competition motivates them to work harder. Competing for a ranking entails that there is more to lose, thus this generally motivates athletes to give it their all. Akira Sugata, IASAS Culcon music delegate, Cross Country and Track and Field athlete agrees, saying that for her, running was “all about the competition.” She also describes the spectators as a source of motivation, explaining how “the crowd, the pre-race nerves, and the thrill of wanting to break [my] personal best of the season are all there, which push me through the race”.

On the other hand, she described Culcon as a bunch of people “gathering and bonding” over their appreciation of music. It was much more relaxed, as “it wasn’t really who could play the best and who could play the hardest piece, but more of getting the judges to respect [you] as a musician”, and even described the supportive community as “a huge musical family”. This greatly contrast s with the more tense atmosphere of sports, where she was “more aware of [her] rivals and opponents”, agreeing the reason was “because the teams get placed and receive medals.”

Another important aspect of IASAS is the team bonding since it is so different between Culcon and sports. Akira says her “cross country team [was] much more bonded than the Culcon team” because “for sports, everyone is suffering through the same workouts together, so the bond is pretty tight, but [since the delegates] for Culcon came from different backgrounds and all play something different, it’s hard to create a tight bond between the music teams.”

Even though each IASAS event is different, each clearly has its unique pros and cons, and no matter which event it is, athletes and delegates alike are sure to have a great experience.