Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The "Real" Sportsmen of the Year...

I am a horrible person.  After reading What Identifying Your Favorite Image of LeBron Can Lead To... a friend sent me a link to the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award ceremony where LeBron was the 2012 honoree. Unbeknownst to me, the event also recognizes a "Sportskid of the Year" (featured in Sports Illustrated Kids).  This year's winner was a team of two: Conner and Cayden Long.  Cayden is a 6-year old boy who has cerebral palsy; his older brother Conner competes in triathlons with Cayden in tow.  I watched the video and thought Oh--another athlete inspired by an individual with a disability. AND Another story where parents are honest about their struggles in having/accepting a child with a disability.  I feel like we've covered those... Like I said, I'm a horrible person.

But, I kept watching because I was unsure how this related to King James.  And, I have to admit it was slightly different--I had never heard a 9-year old that articulate and driven.  I hung in there because this was a far cry from a tale of sibling rivalry.  This story was different.  Adults have maturity; parents are continually asked to be selfless and giving.  I started to wonder How is this 9-year old boy that loving? 

The power in this story isn't just the video that was shared with athletes and coaches present at the event.  No, it was the words of two of the Sportsmen of the Year--both Conner Long and LeBron James.  I am grateful it was included for this clip.  See for yourself.
LeBron, a father of two boys--ages 8 and 5 said he will be sharing the Long brothers' story.  In doing so he won't have the preach about how we should serve, love and support one another.  And Cayden affirms how sports can connect us to one another, lifting the human spirit.
An idea born out of a desire to connect with Cayden.  To become not just brothers or playmates, but teammates.  Though they finished last, they finished together--as one.
It never fails. At the very moment I get overly frustrated by the world of sports--a story about Manti Te'o is going viral as I type or the cheapest ticket for tonight's Warriors vs. Heat game is $38 for seats that demand an oxygen tank, I am reminded of the others....that teach me something about myself, surprise and inspire me.

Photo Credits
Sportskids of the Year

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