is a stock character
found in stories and films depicting the development and triumph of an individual through athletic achievement. The typical story arc of the contender is that of a young individual with raw natural talent who is held back through lack of knowledge of the sport, discipline or self-confidence. Through the encouragement of a coach or other guiding figure, usually in the form of a wise old man
or a magical negro
the contender overcomes internal limitations, and achieves their potential, exemplified by victory in an athletic competition. Alternatively, they may lose that competition, but still gain self confidence or respect from their opponents for their efforts.
Examples of individual contenders include:
Sometimes a book or film portrays a team sport in which several members of the team are contenders, and their success is based in part on those team members providing the necessary guidance and support for one another. Examples of team contenders include: