I had the privilege in today's newspaper of following up on a story I wrote last Christmas Day 2010 called "The Magic Touch."
It was the story of Jenna Huff and Deb Guthmann, two high school girls who ran cross country for their respective teams but had never met one another. Jenna trailed Deb for almost the entire race until -- a few yards from the finish line -- Deb's right hip basically exploded.
Deb stopped. And Jenna -- going against her training, which was to pass everyone she could no matter the circumstances -- stopped, too.
Jenna helped Deb across the finish line and then made sure to push her in front at the end, reasoning that Deb would have beaten her if not for the injury. (We made a video recounting this as well if you'd like to view it -- it's about 4 minutes long).
Jenna's action resonated with many, even on a national level. Today she will accept a national award for sportsmanship given by the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo.
I nominated her for the national award but didn't tell Jenna or the family, figuring she would be such a long shot to win it. But win it she did, and that has given me the excuse to update the story in today's newspaper.
The actions of both girls on that day still stand as the sort of exemplary behavior we would wish all our young people would show.
9 months ago