It’s hard not to see it the wrong way.
Sports teams hoist the trophy after they win the big game, and not a moment sooner. Only one team is named champion, even if the teams are similarly skilled and equally deserving of victory. This distorts our view of success.
The losing team sulks because they lost, but they may still be winners.
We feel validated by winning, but winners are made well before they win. In other words, victory is nice, but it doesn’t make someone a winner. Victory is something that happens to someone who has already won.