dear universe :: for those involved in sport

involved in sport illustration dear universe, a prayer for those involved in sport, that they may be honest, ethical and full of the spirit of sportsmanship. 3/52.

i started competing in sports when i was 9 years old. well, i shouldn't say sports since i was, and am, a runner only. i never showed talent in any other sport  (as evidenced by the two black eyes i got when i failed to catch a fly ball thrown by my sister. although she swears it was mom who threw it.) anyway, i think sports are SO important because they can teach you pretty much everything you need to know about life.  sports teach you how to get along with others, how to win with grace, how to lose with dignity, how to cheer for the underdog, how to give every ounce of your effort and how to go after goals that may seem out of reach.  sports teach you how to ask more of your body than you think it can handle.  they teach you to go beyond yourself to help your fellow teammates.  sports teach you that hard work can only make you better. and better. and better.  and they teach you that achieving great things can inspire others to do the same.

i drew this several weeks ago when the lance armstrong and oprah interview aired. in the early 2000's, i used to wake up at five in the morning with chris and our friend jason to watch the tour de france.  or more accurately, to watch lance.  i read every book about lance, i learned about cycling, i learned about cancer, i learned about the tour de france, i learned about hope and survival.  i believed lance when he said he didn't do drugs.  even when my more knowledgeable cycling friends told me otherwise.  i guess i was naive.  i'm disappointed and i don't want to believe that great things in sport can only be accomplished by cheating.

i am also incredibly disappointed in the news about oscar pistorius.  a story of overcoming adversity now forgotten in the midst of a story of murder.  a hero turned into a villain.

i  know it must be incredibly hard for world class athletes to be on top of their game and live in the public eye.  but it's not hard to be good people.  or at least it shouldn't be.

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"dear universe" is my weekly illustration project for 2013, where i will send a prayer out for those that may need it. see my first post here for more information. see the other posts in the project here.