Sunday, February 16, 2014

This is Olympic sportsmanship at its finest

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/sports/olympics/peak-performance/2014/02/14/olympic-sportsmanship-finest/5500219/

On Friday, Dario Cologna of Switzerland won his second gold medal of the Sochi Olympics, finishing first in the men's 15k Classic in 38:29. More than 25 minutes later, with 85 other competitors having crossed the finish line, Peru's Roberto Carcelen was still on the course. And so was Cologna.
The gold medalist (bib 35) came back to the finish line to greet Carcelen as he completed his race to cheering fans and with a Peruvian flag he picked up in the final meters of the race. Once there, Cologna offered a warm handshake to the last-place finisher who came in 28 minutes behind him. Race winners almost always congratulate those they defeated, but usually when the deficits are in seconds, not dozens of minutes.
Carcelen, one of Peru's three athletes at the Winter Olympics, broke a rib last month but wanted to compete in Sochi anyway.
"Isn't this what the Olympic spirit is all about?" he wrote on his website prior to arriving in Russia.
As the gold medalist showed, Carcelen wasn't the only cross-country skier who knows something about the Olympic spirit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Act of sportsmanship gives Texas high schooler shot at glory

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/act-of-sportsmanship-gives-texas-high-schooler-shot-at-glory/

From CBS News (with video)

EL PASO, Texas -- Coach Peter Morales of the Coronado High School Thunderbirds in El Paso, Texas, makes no qualms about it: he has a favorite on this team.

Team manager Mitchell Marcus has a developmental disability, but he far surpasses everyone here when it comes to love of the game.
"He's just an amazing person that our basketball team loves being around," Morales says.
Mitchell's mom, Amy, says he's always been that way.
"Mitchell always had a basketball, that was always what he wanted for his birthday," she says.
And because basketball is that important to him, on the last game of the regular season, the coach told Mitchell to suit up.
"I was very happy," Mitchell says of what it was like to put on the team's uniform.
Just wearing a jersey was enough for Mitchell, but what he didn't know -- what no one knew at the time -- was that the coach planned to play him at the end, no matter what the score.
Morales says he was prepared to lose the game.
"For his moment in time, yes," he says.
With a minute-and-a-half left -- Coronado leading, but only by 10 -- Coach Morales put in his manager.
"And I just started hearing, 'Mitchell, Mitchell,'" Morales says.
But here's where the fairytale fell apart. Although his teammates did everything they could to get Mitchell a basket, each time they passed him the ball, he either missed the shot, or, like on their last possession, booted it out of bounds, turning the ball over to the other team with just seconds left.

This young swimmer is the model of sportsmanship

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2013/12/swimmer-gives-trophy-florida-sportsmanship/

From USA Today Sports
Video from WPBF-TV (West Palm Beach)

When nine-year-old Josh Zuchowski arrived at the Santa Claus Invitational swim meet earlier this month, he checked the printed psych sheet to see if he’d be racing his friendly 10-year-old rival, Reese Branzell. But Reese’s name wasn’t there. He had been hospitalized earlier in November with a hip infection and hadn’t been able to compete.

Josh said he felt bad that Reese couldn’t compete, so he told his father that if he won all five of his races at the meet, he would give the high-point trophy to his sidelined competitor. Josh did exactly that, sweeping the meet, then penning a card that he would give to Reese’s coach.

As Today.com notes, Josh and Reese often finish 1-2 in races, which makes Josh’s statement that he’d rather finish second to Reese than first without him that much more touching.
Reese has recovered and told WPBF that he’s looking forward to competing again soon.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

George W. Bush to Alabama K Cade Foster: 'You will be stronger'

For more on this story, go to: 
http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24373522/george-w-bush-to-alabama-k-cade-foster-you-will-be-stronger


Alabama kicker Cade Foster has received tons support from his teammates after fans criticized him for missing two field goals -- and having another blocked -- in the Crimson Tide's 34-28 loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
In addition to Alabama players, Foster also received words of encouragement from former President George W. Bush. On Wednesday, the Alabama shared a photo of Bush's hand-written note, dated Dec. 3, 2013.
"Dear Cade (#43)," the note reads. "Life has it's setbacks. I know! However, you will be a stronger human with time. I wish you all the best."

Friday, November 29, 2013

One mother's act of Thanksgiving forgiveness

CBS Sports
Last December, Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown was killed in an auto accident. Teammate
and friend Josh Brent was charged in his death. Jerry Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson shares her inspiring
story of moving forward with The NFL Today.


http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/75571267521

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bernstein High football players earn letters — of parents' love (Los Angeles Times)

At Coach Masaki Matsumoto's prompting, the moms and dads of Dragons players pour out their feelings about their sons. It all imparts a lesson about commitment and support.

Story and video by Eric Sondheimer
Photography by Cheryl A. Guerrero

Damian Sanchez was downcast. It was the day after his football team's first loss of the season, and the senior defensive back from Hollywood Bernstein High was having a tough time shaking the disappointment.

After a team meeting, he returned to the one-bedroom apartment near Koreatown he shares with his mother and two younger brothers, took a shower, then opened the door to a closet to reach for a clean shirt.

That's when he was once again drawn to the piece of paper taped to the wall next to his clothes. He paused to read the handwritten words.

"I want to tell you that from the moment you were in my belly, I loved you dearly. I love you then, today and always. You are my world, my everything. Without you, there's no me."

It was a letter from his mother, Myrna, and it had the desired effect.

"I see it every day in the morning before I go to school," said Damian, 17. "It makes me think everything will be fine."

For more on this fascinating story:

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-c1-bernstein-football-letters-20131114-dto,0,300209,print.htmlstory

Hurdle Talks Sportsmanship With WPIAL Student-Athletes (KDKA-TV Pittsburgh)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You couldn’t blame Clint Hurdle if he wanted to take the day off today to celebrate winning the National League Manager of the Year Award.
But, he was still talking baseball today with hundreds of high school athletes who were hand-picked to attend a WPIAL event at the Heinz History Center.
“It’s all about the game. It’s not about who’s across the net from me. It’s about my team and what we are doing. I don’t worry about what everybody else. It’s just all about us,” Ashley Taylor said.
Through the WPIAL’s Fifth Annual Summit on Sportsmanship, hundreds of high school athletes are reminded of lessons learned when they were little.
“My mom was our coach when we were little and my dad, they coached together. That was their biggest thing was to have fun and work together and be nice to other teams and stuff like that,” Jess Porter said.