The news can be depressing at times. Thankfully, the sports world usually isn’t.
Yahoo Sports is taking a weekly look at the true spirit of sport — the highlights that will warm your heart and the acts of kindness that go beyond the game.
Come on. Let’s take a load off together.
Athlete with cerebral palsy lifts twice his weight
If you’re looking for a motivational boost this week, you’ve come to the right place.
Miles Taylor is a young man with cerebral palsy, a condition that impairs muscle co-ordination and generally makes life more difficult for those with it. Taylor refuses to let it slow him down, though, and he put that on display late last week.
Despite his 99-pound frame, a video shows him deadlifting 200 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly: This young man with cerebral palsy picked up more than double his own weight.
The video, originally posted to Taylor’s Instagram, went viral after being shared online by ESPN, CNN, Sports Illustrated and other media outlets. ESPN’s post on Twitter has been viewed more than six million times in the last week — and for good reason. Taylor did something not many people can do, and the fact that he did it with a condition like cerebral palsy makes it even more incredible.
Besides that, the support that he’s received from those in the gym and around the world has been nothing short of heartwarming.
This athlete with cerebral palsy just deadlifted 200 pounds … and he only weighs 99 💪 pic.twitter.com/KBRkXRNUG7
— ESPN (@espn) February 8, 2019
As the video went viral, a number of big names saw what Taylor accomplished. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder turned actor turned politician, called Taylor his “new hero” on Twitter. NFL star J.J. Watt, a five-time Pro Bowl defensive end with the Houston Texas, also shared the video and called Taylor an “inspiration.”
Now this is badass!!
What an inspiration.
(Also, my man coming in from the back room dropping the garbage bag and everyone running in to see it, what a cool scene) https://t.co/Isn3uccSEE
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 8, 2019
Doctor saves man’s life during hockey game
Dr. Craig Bryant was in the right place at the right time, and Jib Street will forever be thankfully for that.
The two were playing a men’s league hockey game in Charlotte, N.C., last month when one of them suddenly went into cardiac arrest. Street, a Canadian who has played hockey his entire life, laid on the ice without a pulse for five minutes while Bryant sprung into action.
The doctor quickly began administrating CPR while others in the rink grabbed the building’s automated external defibrillator (AED) unit to restart Street’s heart.
Thanks to Bryant’s swift response, the emergency room doctor saved Street’s life and the 54-year-old hockey player made a full recovery in only a few weeks.
“It took a village,” Bryant said to Street and FOX 46 after that faithful day. “There were so many guys that were involved. Everyone has expressed their concern and excitement that you’re doing well.”
The incident is now being described as a “miracle on ice.”
But wait, this gets better. CBC Edmonton reported this week that the man who nearly died bought the doctor a signed Wayne Gretzky jersey as a token of gratitude.
Street asked CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM: “How many people can say that they died and were saved, not only by the grace of God, but by the hockey gods, as well?”
— CBC Edmonton (@CBCEdmonton) February 13, 2019
Boxer donates all of his winnings to the homeless
Tyson Fury is a man of his word, and the world is better for it.
The 30-year-old British boxer, who has battled addiction and mental health issues throughout his life, recently fought in one of the most entertaining bouts in years. Last December, he hopped into the ring to take on American Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title.
While the fight ended in a controversial draw that resulted in Wilder retaining his title, Fury promised to donate his entire purse to help house the homeless in the United Kingdom. His initial earnings for the bout were about US$3.5 million; however, the income from pay-per-view sales boosted that total to $9 million, according to the Good News Network.
He donated all of it to U.K. charities focused on giving shelter to those battling alcoholism and addiction. Fury insisted that he didn’t perform the act of generosity it for the attention.
“I did give away my last purse, but I don’t do charity work for a pat on the back,” said Fury, as reported by The Sun in the U.K. “I do it to help people, but I do not want praise for it, I don’t want to be called a do-gooder.”
While his donation was selfless, it may be just as valuable as the message he gave to his fans following his fight with Wilder.
“You can come back and it can be done,” Fury told BT Sport back in December. “If I can come back from where I’ve come from, then you can do it, too.”
There will be people who need a lift in spirits today, maybe yesterday and maybe even tomorrow. I hope this little message can help you
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) February 8, 2019
Members of Special Olympics Calgary pump up Flames before game
With a game against a top Pacific Division rival on the horizon, the Calgary Flames needed an extra boost before the opening puck drop against the San Jose Sharks. Thankfully, members of Special Olympics Calgary were there to fire the team up.
The Flames alumni brought in a group of athletes to read the starting lineup. One young man in particular really gave it everything that he had while announcing the name of Flames captain Mark Giordano. And although you can barely see the face of Bill Peters, Calgary’s head coach, it’s clear that he love the passion he was seeing in the dressing room.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 8, 2019
With the Flames gassed up and ready to go, the team’s alumni had another surprise in store for their guests off the ice. Before the start of the 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games, the organization donated $30,000 to their local special Olympians to cover the cost of their uniforms.
— Special Olympics CGY (@SpecialOCalgary) February 8, 2019
Blind basketball player nails shot in high school game
The story of Clay Warner is a great reminder that sports are meant to be enjoyed by everyone. Whether you’re LeBron James or not, you should have the opportunity to play and reap the rewards of organized activities.
Warner isn’t like most kids, though. The 18-year-old senior at North Polk High School in Iowa is legally blind and has cerebral palsy after being born 13 weeks premature. Those obstacles haven’t stood in the way of his love for basketball, though.
Throughout his high school career, he never got into a game. That changed on his team’s senior night earlier this month. During the final moments of the fourth quarter in one of his final varsity basketball games, Warner took advantage of the opportunity presented to him.
He received a pass, aimed at the hoop by looking at the bottom right corner of his glasses (as he always does), pulled up and drained the basket.
“This whole gym was yelling my name,” Clay told WHO-TV. “Everything, both benches were jumping. The whole crowd was going crazy. It was like I was a little kid again.”
Well, now that we have those warm and fuzzy stories out of the way, let’s go back to questioning the Cleveland Browns for signing Kareem Hunt, watching NHL stars violently swing their sticks and attempting to understand the CBC’s shocking investigation revealing sexual abuse statistics in Canadian youth sports, shall we?