stories of athletes

David Newhan: Nothing to Hide
Author: Matt Sieger

Maybe it wasn’t quite Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp, but when David Newhan got a chance to play for the Baltimore Orioles in the summer of 2004, he made the most of it. The left-handed swinging sparkplug belted a 435-foot pinch-hit home run in his first at bat for Baltimore on June 18. Previously a…

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Michael Blatchford: Nothing to Lose
Author: Matt Sieger

How does a skinny kid with asthma end up competing against brawny sprint cyclers in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing? Michael Blatchford, 24, grew up in southern California in Cypress, a suburb near Disneyland. Like any other kid, he rode his bike around town. But it held no fascination for him until age thirteen,…

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Ami Ortiz: No Hate
Author: Matt Sieger

Fifteen-year-old Ami Ortiz, who lives with his family in Ariel, Israel, stayed home from school on Purim, March 20, 2008. He was delighted to discover in the stairwell a gift basket with the message Happy Holidays.” But when he opened the package, it exploded in his face, filling his body with shrapnel, burning him all…

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Bruce Hamovitz: A New Source of Strength

I used to visualize the number of ways I could hurt people. As a trained Kung Fu instructor on my way to becoming a master of the martial art, I would often ponder the most effective and efficient ways of defeating my sparring opponents…or anyone who threatened me. “I used to visualize the number of…

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