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Solidarity in sports

By Ben Fields '15

April 18, 2013

The end of a race is supposed to be a joyous time. Almost any athlete you ask will tell you that there is no better feeling than finishing. Whether it is something as short as one length of a pool or as long as a marathon, that feeling of accomplishment is unrivaled in the world of athletics. So when that feeling is taken away and quickly replaced by terror there is nothing worse.

As the world watched the two bombs go off at the Boston Marathon on Monday, the devastation was more than just a response to the terrible casualties. It was supposed to be a celebratory time for runners, families, friends and even just spectators, but it was wrenched apart by a senseless act of terror. As anyone who has ever been to a sporting event or taken part in one can understand, the emotions after finishing or being towards the end of a race are so great that it was so cruel to turn them into fear and anguish.

Out of the chaos though emerged some of the greatest acts of heroism. After finishing more than 26 miles, runners ran back to the finish line to aid. Although inevitably their legs were like jelly and their bodies were broken down, they ran back towards the harm. There is little more heroic than running towards an explosion and the ensuing bedlam. While we mourn the injured and dead we must celebrate the heroes.

This was a terrible event but it has fostered amazing responses from unlikely sources. At a recent New York Yankees game, the fans gave a rousing chorus of  “Sweet Caroline” to show their support for the city of Boston, all rivalries aside.

Now as we move on from this terrible tragedy, we must not let it interfere with our lives. For those heading to future races and events: Yes, we must be careful and vigilant, but we cannot stop this from living our lives. Use every race, competition and sporting event as a tribute to those lot or hurt in Boston and anywhere else.

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