A 107-year-old skier? A high school senior with Down syndrome who drills a 3-pointer at the buzzer? A cross-country skier with her sights set on making history at the 2018 Winter Olympics? These are our top stories from January:
Jared Blank probably missed being at Levi’s Stadium Dec. 1 to watch his beloved University of Southern California Trojans win the PAC-12 Championship in a revenge victory over the Stanford Cardinals – but he had other things to do that day.
He had to go for a run.
But not just any run. A training run for a marathon.
And not just one marathon but marathons, actually.
Blank, the former football operations director for USC, is training to run seven marathons in seven continents over seven days as part of the World Marathon Challenge. [More]
Long before Shad Khan was the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was a 16-year-old immigrant from Pakistan who washed dishes for $1.20 an hour.
Because he understands what it’s like to come to the United States as an outsider, where work and community can be challenging to find, Khan decided to donate 1,000 Jaguars v. Bills playoff tickets to refugees and immigrants displaced by Hurricane Maria so they could kick back and relax on Sunday afternoon. [More]
Ski suit? Check. Poles? Check. Perfectly waxed skis? Check. Glitter? Check.
Before every race, four-time World Champion cross-country skier Jessie Diggins, 26, makes sure she sparkles on the outside because that’s exactly how she feels on the inside.
“I think ski racing is so fun, and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing with my life,” Diggins told us from Austria. “So, before every race, and this goes back to high school, I put glitter on my face. [More]
If there’s a life worth studying, it’s Lou Batori’s. At 107 years old, he’s still ripping turns down the mountain as a skier.
His status of “ski legend” is marked by a “100+ Ski Club” patch on his jacket and his own parking spot at Crystal Mountain in Michigan. He no longer races, but he became the world’s oldest NASTAR competitor at age 100. [More]
An act of kindness, even in the midst of a competitive basketball game, can go a long way. Just ask Kyle Kwarcinski, a high school senior from Nebraska who has Down syndrome.
Kwarcinski is the varsity team manager at his school, and because he’s a fantastic long-range shooter, he occasionally suits up for the junior varsity squad. [More]