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Gene builds Finny's legend by telling of how Finny casually and easily broke a school swimming record, but did it unofficially and just to see if he could do it. Finny refuses to do it again and have it count, and so Gene builds him up into even more of a hero/athlete.
Finny's rebelliousness is reinforced by the swimming incident; he does not see a point in following the rules and making his record official, because others' recognition is not nearly as important to him as his own.
His defeated name remained in bronze on the school record plaque, while Finny deliberately evaded an athletic honor. It was true that he had many already—the Winslow Galbraith Memorial Football Trophy for having brought the most Christian sportsmanship to the game during the 1941-1942 season, the Margaret Duke Bonaventura ribbon and prize for the student who conducted himself at hockey most like the way her son had done, the Devon School Contact Sport Award, Presented Each Year to That Student Who in the Opinion of the Athletic Advisors Excels His Fellows in the Sportsmanlike Performance of Any Game Involving Bodily Contact. But these were in the past, and they were prizes, not school records.
A Separate Peace