The spirit of competition
Competition (count noun): An event or contest in which people take part in order to establish superiority or supremacy in a particular area. (OED)
The spirit of competition motivates us often and can be found in a great many things.
Sometimes trivial, sometimes vain, sometimes grandiose, sometimes grandiloquent, sometimes essential, sometimes anecdotal...
but always primordial for those taking part...
From the day-to-day life of a card player to the intrinsically ephemeral tricky question of the most beautiful ear of wheat via gymnastics, singing, photography, aviation, bulls, babies (!), horses, and even the ineffable (well, it depends on your point of view) local history competition of the antique dealers of Picardy (you just couldn’t make it up), almost everything is covered.
Non-exhaustive selection of competition medals to collect.
Painting: “Tennis at Newport” by George Bellows (1920) (Public domain)