P2P’s Top Five Stories: January 2017

Our top stories from the first month of 2017 dipped into the world of golf, mountain biking, and skiing to name a few.

Take a look at the list and notice that a sports reporter, not an athlete, actually grabbed the No. 1 spot.

5. Willpower Is The Key According To The First Person With Dwarfism To Complete An Ironman

Many people know him now as the first person with dwarfism to complete an Ironman. But there’s so much more to 50-year-old John “The Hammer” Young, and his story.

Sure, the high school math teacher from Salem, Mass. made triathlon history when he crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Maryland in October, but it’s his approach to life that proves there’s really no limit to what you can do.

“A lot of times, I hear people who aren’t physically challenged say, ‘I could never run a marathon.’ I say, ‘That’s because you don’t want to,’” Young said. “You have to be willing to put in the time. I’m convinced that if someone wants to put in the time and effort, they can complete any physical challenge they want to. Your will has to be stronger than your ‘won’t.’ Your desire to do something has to be greater than what’s telling you not to.”

4. Pro Slackliner, Ski Instructor Saves Man Hanging Unconscious From Ski Lift

Skier Mickey Wilson, 28, was at the right place at the right time when he scaled a Colorado chairlift to rescue a man who was hanging from the lift with a backpack around his neck.

Wilson, a part-time ski instructor and a professional slackliner, was at Arapahoe Basin Wednesday when he saw the man dangling about 10 feet off the ground. Just out of reach for those on the ground to make a rescue, and with ski patrol en route, Wilson put his focus and balance to good use.

Once he climbed one of the towers to reach the top of the lift line, he maneuvered across the cord to reach the chair. Ski patrol tossed him a knife from down below so he could cut the pack off the man.

Ted Madden, former WFAA sports reporter.

3. The Story Behind La Ruta, The Toughest Mountain Bike Race In The World

If you ask Román Urbina, the only difference between a crisis and an adventure is perspective.

The 55-year-old Costa Rica native is known as the godfather of the multi-day mountain bike stage race. In 1993, he founded La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, a three-day 200-mile race from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean through Costa Rica.

Time Magazine named it one of the “Top 10 Endurance Competitions” in the world. The only other bike race on the list? The Tour de France.

La Ruta is known as the “toughest mountain bike race in the world” for good reason. As riders traverse a beautiful country which possess the highest density of biodiversity in the world, they must climb active volcanoes, knife through a stifling rain forest, and trek through jungles filled with crocodiles and boa constrictors.

2. The Secret Behind PGA Tour Pro Jerry Kelly’s Staying Power: Grit, Determination and a Focus on Family

It’s hard to ignore Jerry Kelly on the golf course, or anywhere else, for that matter. He plays golf with a passion; an Everyman grit that’s as engaging as his laser-sharp, straight-down-the-middle drives. He cheers his target-bound balls to their destination like he’s in the stands of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But, more than anything, Jerry Kelly is a guy with staying power in a sport where so many crash and burn. A self-proclaimed underdog who continually rises to the occasion on the PGA Tour and brings us all along for the ride.

Maybe part of the intrigue comes from the fact that Kelly wasn’t groomed for pro golf at an early age.  He played varsity hockey, varsity soccer and varsity golf, not because of some grand plan, but, because that’s what kids growing up in Madison, Wisconsin did.

1. Former Dallas Area Sportscaster Ted Madden Says His Zest For Storytelling Didn’t Come From Covering Pro Sports

ormer sports reporter Ted Madden spent years covering the likes of Tony Romo, Dirk Nowitzki, and Josh Hamilton for Dallas’ ABC affiliate, WFAA.

However, according to Madden, being showered with champagne in the locker room when the Mavericks won their first NBA championship wasn’t a huge deal. Attending a Ron Washington press conference in order to dish the latest Rangers’ news? Just another day at the office. Working his way into the media scrum with a question for Dez Bryant? Frustrating, and quite frankly, because of the competitive setting, unfulfilling.

Kim Constantinesco

Kim Constantinesco

As the founder and editor-in-chief of Purpose2Play.com, Kim Constantinesco dives under the surface hype to illuminate heroes in the sports world. Whether talking with the first man with cerebral palsy to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, or the first woman to mountain bike across Afghanistan, Kim has a keen interest in shining the spotlight on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes it's time media starts placing a higher value on the people and communities who are actively doing something to make the world a little better. Previously, she covered the Denver Broncos and the NFL for seven seasons. Her work has been featured on NFL.com, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, The New York Times, and USA Today. She resides in Denver, CO. When not working, she can be found deep in the Rocky Mountains throwing backflips on her snowboard. Follow Kim on Twitter: @KimCon14
Kim Constantinesco

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