Amy Donaldson: Despite Lance Armstrong's lies and the Manti Te'o situation, I believe we need inspiring stories more than ever
My cousin alerted me to a story about two little boys, Connor Green and Cayden Long, who compete in triathlons together as Team Long Brothers. No big deal, except Long, 6, has cerebral palsy and has to be pushed, pulled and carried throughout each race by Green, his brother, who is 9.
LeBron James was at an awards ceremony where Sports Illustrated named the duo Sports Kids of the Year, and James said he planned to show the video version of their story to his two young sons so they'd know how they should take care of each other.
He said he wouldn't have to lecture any more — just tell the story.
Life is long and sometimes it's pretty brutal. It's important to find inspiration in our own lives.
Athletes have a platform given to them simply because they are excellent in one area, and our admiration makes that platform more powerful.
I'm the first to admit our affection for athletes is disproportionate for what they do, and I'll concede the media is partly responsible for that. But that doesn't make these kinds of stories any less compelling or important. In fact, it may make them more critical.
Athletics teach us lessons when we're not even open to learning. We share those stories, and again, the lessons come in a way that makes them much more powerful — and palatable — than if you had simply read the definitions of hard work, team work and commitment.
If I've gained any answers this week, it's simply that we need to continue embracing these stories, even as we (the media) become more diligent about verifying them, and as we (the fans) keep them in perspective as we consume them.
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