When Wales reached the semi-finals of the 2016 European Championships, they returned home to an open-top bus parade through Cardiff. But they did not win the tournament, so why was a celebration needed?
In my opinion, the need to celebrate success is a subjective matter. Depending on the context of the situation, then success should be achieved but on other occasions, it should be celebrated to a lesser extent.
The Welsh national football side’s journey to the semi-finals was a success in terms of their achievements at the time. They had arrived in France to compete in their first major competition since 1957, there was no pressure on them as they were not expected to succeed. They took the position of being an underdog in both hands and proved that they have the ability to perform at the highest level. They set a precedent for the future.
They travelled to France knowing that were not expected to progress very far, but they did. And that was worth celebrating.
Another example of sports people celebrating a non-victory is Tom Daley. The British diver celebrated winning a bronze medal at his home Olympics, in London, by jumping into the pool alongside his coaches, team-mates and fellow support staff. Were his celebrations acceptable? You could argue both ways.
On the one hand, you could state that Tom had embedded himself into the top three divers around the world. He was one of the world’s best at his sport. But, on the other hand, he was only “one” of the world’s best, he was not at the top of the pile of names.
Overall, everyone should celebrate success. The extent at which someone should celebrate will always be subjective to the context. If Bayern Munchen won the UEFA Champions League then, of course, they would celebrate, but it would be nowhere near the same level of celebration if a club such as Tottenham Hotspurs celebrated. But the most important factor is that we should thrive to be the best we can possibly be and once we achieve that then we can celebrate.