I could tell many stories about him but this is a favorite.
He joined a year-round swim team the summer he was 12. He suffered from asthma and was a wheezy, underweight kid. We thought it would be good for him. It turns out we were right. (Score one for the parents!) By the end of the summer his breathing was so much better and he was less dependent on his inhaler.
Also at the end of summer was his first meet and he was swimming a 500 for his team. This means swimming the length of the 25 yard pool 20 times. It is a marathon especially for a beginner.
His swimming was much better after taking lessons and practicing all summer. Even so, he was no match for kids who had been in the program since kindergarten.
The 500 started and the other kids literally swam laps around him and the event was over. The official told him he did not have to finish if he didn’t want to.
The other kids were finished but he decided to stay in the pool and finish the job.
The other kids and the parents all waited while this lone swimmer, this little skinny kid, swam back and forth to complete 20 laps. He finished.
He exited the pool to applause and cheers.
He didn’t win any medals that day. but he was a champion.
“For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” ~George Washington, August 17,1790
From the Board of Trustees, College Point, Long Island
“We, as Trustees, are responsible to the public for the conduct of the school, and are in great measure, guardians of the morals of the pupils. In the first place, I do not consider it to be the proper thing for any young lady to ride a bicycle, and in the person of a school teacher, it is particularly out of place. As far as the question of riding before or after school hours and when away from the school is concerned, we have no authority, but we will not permit them to ride bicycles to or from the schoolroom.”
“It is not the proper thing for ladies to ride the bicycle. They wear skirts, of course, but if we do not stop them now they will want to be in style with the New York women and wear bloomers. Then how would our schoolrooms look with the lady teachers parading around amongst the boys and girls wearing bloomers ? They might just as well wear men’s trousers. I suppose it will come to that, but we are determined to stop our teachers in time, before they go that far.”
Neverthe less, she persisted*
*Mitch McConnell after silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren in the US Senate in 2017.
See also article by David Dinsmore in MS Magazine June 2020 which included the photo.