Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion.
Every now and then, a sports story comes out that makes you both cringe and fills you with respect at the same time. Most recently, that story is the one of Olympic sprinter Manteo Mitchell.
A few days before running in his 4x400m race for the USA, Mitchell injured his leg on some stairs. As many athletes in any sport often do, he tried walking it off and telling himself he was OK. About 200m into his 400m race, Mitchell discovered he was very not OK as he felt his leg break.
Did he stop? Did he hit the deck and cry? No. He channeled his inner Greg Jennings (NSFW) and finished the race. His efforts got the Americans into the 4x400m final where they (sans Mitchell of couse) earned a silver medal.
As a huge hockey fan, it got me thinking of some great instances, of old and more recent times, of players playing through the pain. Here are some of those times.
1. John Madden
You have to keep your head up in the playoffs. In the seventh game of a series? Even more so. John Madden found this out the hard way after accidentally getting drilled by teammate Tomas Kopecky. Did he come back to finish the game? You bet he did. Wasn’t pretty though.
2. Steven Stamkos
Another Game 7 incident, Steven Stamkos took a Johnny Boychuk clapper to the face. While Boychuk can lower the boom, Stammer’s only saving grace might be that it wasn’t Zdeno Chara shooting instead. Still came back with a cage on and all patched u- well, at least with a cage on.
3. Tyler Carroll
Tim Brent is known throughout Leaf Land as the shot-blocking phenom, but feast your eyes on this amazing effort by the Guelph Storm’s (OHL) Tyler Carroll, and prepare to cringe over and over again.
4. Maurice Richard
It would be insulting to point out one particularly badass incident or accomplishment of Maurice “the Rocket” Richard. Forget his career – Richard fought injuries his whole life. One particularly badass accomplishment of Richard’s however came when he scored eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) after helping his family move all day. In Canada, this act of bad-assery was considered so badass they made a commercial about it.
5. Bobby Baun
Pinched nerve, Bobby? The damn thing’s broken! Just like Manteo Mitchell, Bobby Baun continued onward despite having a broken leg, and the effort was heroic. Instead of getting his team into the final for the 4x400m race, Baun scored an overtime-winner in the playoffs.
What are some of your favourite moments of determination in sport? Leave a comment and stories will be entered into a randomizer for a prize courtesy of Visa! The prize – a $50 pre-paid VISA card.