The concept of a trophy is basic. It is something one receives for accomplishing a task. It is the proof that someone in fact did do something and succeeded. It is a great feeling to receive one for it reassures a person's success in something and shows that the work did pay off. However if someone receives a trophy without the work is it still a trophy or something meaningless?
To get a trophy one must work for it. Like I said it's the proof that someone accomplished the task. So if someone is handed a medal without running the race does it lose its meaning? There are two ways to view it. The first is it indeed loses the meaning. It becomes an object with no substance so there is no meaning. There was no work to gain it so it is as special as anything else someone might own. In fact it can become a scar, reminding one that they truly did not gain it it was just handed to them. It can also remind them that they never fully achieved it or even accomplish the task. It can represent failure instead.
The other view is that is represents the complete opposite. Sure, a person might have not done a huge accomplishment to gain it but the fact they are receiving it shows that it wanted to be given to them. It represents a gesture that is rewarding them for something. Accepting it means nothing wrong. In fact it might make someone happier by accepting it. The person has gained something. It shows someone wanted to give it to them for they did deserve it. Much like a life long achievement award. There are no written credentials to get it, just a consensus that the person deserved it for what they did. They never directly worked for it, but instead indirectly did. If it makes them happy why would not enjoy it? It can be a trophy in a different sense.
Two very different views on a basic question. Obviously one is going to view it differently than another much like is the glass half empty or half full. It depends on the situation the person is in for when it comes down to it, the trophy is physically no different in both senses.