Friday’s Heroes: A Frank Edition

Happy Friday to all! As Marco announced last week, this is my meager attempt to occupy the big chair during his absence as he galivants to somewhere unknown to spread his goodwill, wit, and charm. I suspect he is attending a symposium sponsored by the International Institute on Sarcasm. Meanwhile, onto the heroes who are examples of goodness in the world.

Getty Images

The Olympics provides a plethora of outstanding stories about humanity’s good side – so here’s one more with multiple heroes. Miloszek Malysa is an eight-month-old Polish boy needing life-saving heart surgery, so the family started a fundraising page to pay for surgery in the USA (at Stanford U). Maria Andrejczyk, a silver-medalist Javelin thrower, stepped forward by auctioning her metal from the recent Tokyo games. The Polish convenience store chain Żabka won the bid that supplied about one-third of the goal, then declined to accept the metal from Maria because they thought it rightfully belongs with her.

From the Holy Shit Department, here’s a story with multiple heroes. Lindsay Bull is an employee at a Utah petting zoo. While working with Darthgator, the large reptile decided to snack on Bull’s hand. With her hand in his mouth and instead of pulling, Bull entered the water and rolled as the alligator tried to dismember her. Donnie Wiseman, an innocent observer, not only enters the area but also wrestles the alligator, and then pries the mouth open so Bull can remove her hand. Another bystander, Todd Christopher, encouraged Bull and helped pull her out. Amy Christopher’s nursing background helped treat Bull until the EMTs arrived. By the way, Bull is anxious to return to work after she heals.

I must include an honoree from Cincinnati. In summer 2018, six-year-old Payton started a lemonade stand to buy new toys for patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center because she received a new teddy bear when she was a patient. She repeated the venture in 2019. Today, Payton’s Lemonade Stand is a foundation and 25 stands exist across Greater Cincinnati this past summer … and children host all of them. Cheers to Payton for starting a chain reaction.

A 1992 car accident left Sabrina Cohen as a quadriplegic at age 14. Today she is the founder and president of the Sabrina Cohen Foundation, an organization focusing on meeting fitness and recreation needs for the disabled – especially the beach and the warm waters of Miami. A tip of the hat to Sabrina, her foundation, and all the volunteers for all the goodness they share.

During the virus lockdown’s peak, we in the US received daily briefings from a governor. Unlike federal officials, the governors (at least that I saw) also had a sign language interpreter present on the screen. Now that I have twin great-nieces with hearing disorders, I appreciate those signers much more than I already did. A shout out to these public servants!

Marc returns soon. Although I’m on blog break, I invite you to stop by Beach Walk Reflections. Enjoy your weekend.

Heroes Of The Week!

Imma supply you with a quick heads up to let you know that I will be stepping away from WordPress for a week, as in zero-dark nada. Next Friday will keep on keeping on though, thanks to Frank “Beach Walks” Angle, who will be guest hosting for me. Big thank you to Cincy for his pinch-hitting prowess, and big hugs to all my Friday peeps who keep me coming back for more with your wonderful thoughts.

And a tip of the hat to the lovely Dale at A Dalectable Life as we begin this episode with track and field superstar Allyson Felix, whose exploits in the arena only tell half of the story. The thirty-five year old Felix is the most decorated Olympian in the history of track and field- 6 golds, 11 overall- which is a remarkable achievement when you consider the names that have occupied that universe. But it’s her role as super mama that finds her on our podium.

When her relationship with Nike was not extended, it was a slap in the face to the woman who had given the company so much. The swoosh refused to make accommodations to an expectant mother, instead offering her a 70 percent pay cut as their way of saying thanks. It didn’t get any easier for her at the first World Championship meet after giving birth. She was assigned a roommate even though she had requested her own room since she was breastfeeding and didn’t want to distract a peer who was also competing.

Felix didn’t get mad, she simply got better. In 2019, she wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which she talked about her treatment by Nike- “I was tired of asking for change. I knew I had to create it,”. In June, she announced the launch of her own footwear company, Saysh. She has also created a $200,000 fund to pay the cost of child care for moms competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Here’s to winning the right way.

Naomi Osaka Donating Prize Money to Haiti's Relief Effort after Earthquake

Naomi Osaka has announced she will be donating her earnings from a recent golf event to the relief effort in Haiti.

“Really hurts to see all the devastation that’s going on in Haiti, and I feel like we really can’t catch a break,” she tweeted. “I’m about to play a tournament this week and I’ll give all the prize money to relief efforts for Haiti. I know our ancestors blood is strong we’ll keep rising.”

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation last week. It has claimed at least 2,000 lives thus far with officials estimating that the number will rise drastically in the days and weeks to come. To make matters worse, tropical storm Grace’s arrival has further hampered rescue efforts.

Ms. Osaka is putting her money where her heart is, and bless her for doing so.

Jaylo Miles knows that the worst part about hitting rock bottom emotionally, is that return visits are commonplace. Mental health isn’t a sometimes thing, to maintain and to overcome requires a daily regimen for those affected. Which is why Jaylo loves climbing mountains; because it speaks the right language when his soul really needs to hear it.

And when you have a climbing partner like Jaylo’s pal Louie- a PTSD owl- it makes the journey that much more fulfilling. The father of three has set up a Facebook page Many Downs, Time To Get Up. It’s a community where Jaylo and others share their mental health stories and connect for challenges and meet-ups. “I have built this page from a desperate battle with my own mental health and suicidal thoughts in the hope to make a difference and leave a legacy to create & inspire.”

Mountaintops inspire the soul, but the journey is what feeds it.

Mary and Benjamin are proof that even in the most trying of times, flowers will find their bloom. Theirs grew during the time of COVID, when social distancing and sheltering in place learned us a lesson in perspective. Because it’s how these two came to understand that the fence which separated them wasn’t a barrier but rather, a meeting place.

Ninety-seven years are tucked between these two pals- Mary is approaching her 100th birthday while Benjamin just turned two- but you’d never know it when they get together. The Minneapolis grandmother says the company keeps her spirit up, since she lives alone and her family is out of state.

C.S. Lewis believed that while friendship has no survival value, it gives value to our survival. These two friends are offering up one hundred and one years worth of validation to that sentiment.

As we get ready to high five another Friday, I’ve come up with a return visitor to our Friday episode, and in the name of transparency, it’ a Vegas winner of a chicken dinner that he’s gonna be making yet another appearance . . . I’m thinking by the fall.

Max Woosey, remember him? He’s the kid I wrote about back in April (You can read it here) who was camping out in a tent gifted him by a neighbor with terminal cancer. Rick Abbott lost his battle, but Max’s family never forgot the efforts of a local hospice in North Devon. They made it possible for Rick to remain in his home to the end, and Max? Well, he remembered that.

Thus began a campaign by the 11-year old, to help out since all the fundraisers planned by the hospice were canceled during the pandemic. Max took his tent to the backyard and began a one kid fundraiser with the goal of raising 100 pounds. At the time of my original posting, he’d shattered that goal and had collected more than five hundred thousand pounds.

Reading back, I mistakenly wrote that Max was camping out in a sleeping bag when it’s actually a tent. But truth be told, it wouldn’t matter with this kid, who was determined to sleep on a blanket if it came to that. He’s had company a time or two. His dog Digby is a regular and his father stayed with him during Storm Bella as they braved 70 mph winds. He had to replace the old tent when it sprang a leak, but through it all, he’s still going strong.

He recently passed 500 days and the tote board is still smoking, currently sitting on 770,000 pounds. His goal achieved long ago, he’s got a million reasons to keep this thing going. And no, I’m not sure that’s what the kid from Braunton, England has in mind. But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he’s thinking about it. Even though he could go inside right now, tonight, and his achievement would be nothing short of remarkable. To be this young and this compassionate, it’s transcendent. It’s a higher power tapping us on the shoulder and whispering, “Hey! I know there’s a lot that sucks about the world, but if you’re not paying attention to THIS kind of thing . . you’re doing it wrong!”. And this kind of thing is what Max Woosey is gifting us. His dedication to a goal that keeps on giving is a reminder as to what matters most of all.

When we share the good things inside of us, we get to hold forever in our hands.

 

Joe Pesci Movie Review: Jolt

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Lemme start by issuing the oh so important spoiler alert before a certain blog owner with a stick up his ass for such things texts me one more fucking time about it. I already threatened to kneecap him but he doesn’t scare easy, which is typical of stupid assholes.

Spoiler alert . . da fuck.

Many people ain’t aware of this, but I think women can do anything us guys can do. Run for President, be an astronaut or a basketball player? Sure, I mean of course. But in this instance I’m talking about every day stuff. Yanno, like hiring an escort on a business trip or murdering their significant other.

Lindy Lewis- played by the lovely Kate Beckinsale- has the kind of temper that will wake you out of a sound sleep just to let you know she’s gonna kill ya. So I was hooked on the chick while the opening credits for the movie Jolt were still getting in the way. That British accent and those titanium high heels work on my last hormone and I mean that literally, since I got one left.

Lindy has the kind of temper that has its own term- intermittent explosive disorder. And just like explosive diarrhea it will make the unlucky bastard who pisses her off shit his pants too. When she gets pissed, she turns into a cross between Chuck Norris and my Aunt Julia.

Stanley Tucci plays her Mr. Miyagi. He’s her psychiatrist and life coach, because with the issues she’s got going, he’s gonna be rich. Get this, he rigs this electrode device that she wears, and whenever she feels like she’s about to lose it, she pushes a button and it shocks her. Don’t ask me why that doesn’t piss her off, but I’m not a writer so what do I know?

Anyway, Lindy meets an accountant (Jai Courtney) who says he works for one guy. That always means there’s some crooked shit going on and sure enough there is, because a day after meeting him, he ends up dead. Now she’s really pissed because they had a great second date that ended with breakfast. So watch the fuck out, bad guys, because the British are coming.

Before you know it, Lindy is killing bosses, because there’s always way more than one boss. Of course, the cops gotta get involved so’s they can take the credit when she cracks the case. Laverne Cox and my pal Bobby Canavale play the cops, and not for nothing, but he plays good cop so well that Lindy’s got breakfast eyes for him before the flick is over.

Oh and get this, the accountant who got knocked off ten minutes in? Turns out he faked it so he could be the boss. What a stupid fuck this guy is, because she’s already killed more bosses than a hitman for the Gambinos. This chick already rearranged the face of a shitty waitress so what do you think she’s gonna do to a guy who doesn’t just kick her to the curb but fakes his death to do it? And then comes back later to torture her with her own device as he laughs at her?

She turns him into meatloaf by handing him a bag with a bomb in it, which proves she musta really liked this guy a lot, the lucky bastid. So after he’s gone she goes back to her apartment to find Susan Sarandon waiting for her. She’s pretending to play a creepy doctor but she’s really there to let us know there’s gonna be another movie.

On a scale of 1-10, I give dis movie an absofuckinglutely.

 

Play It Again Spam (Case File # Mucho)

 

Good day,

I am Stephen Li, a project facilitator working and funding projects with numerous investors worldwide. I would like to know if you have any project(s) that requires funding. We are ready to fund Such projects or businesses. We also offer business loan, personal and home loans to finance new projects as well as expansion capital. Kindly get back to me with your project(s) brief so I can share full details with you.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Stephen Li

Good day back atcha,

I really can’t thank you enough for reaching out to me with this amazing business opportunity. It saved me from having to borrow seed money from my Uncle Sal, who can be a little heavy handed when it comes to loans. He wanted twenty-five percent on a $20,000 loan, in thirty days! The SOB wanted Beverly D’Angelo’s number too, which I haven’t had since she used me for a rebound weekend in 2005.

As far as projects are concerned, I have a few ideas I’m cooking up that could use a generous slice of butter.

M. Night At The Movies Generator: This app utilizes all of Night’s feature-length films in order to create a generator that compares them with a new release. Upon the debut, the script for the new movie is downloaded to our cloud, after which it undergoes a rigorous comparative analysis. This process will remove the guesswork, letting movie goers know in advance whether M. Night’s latest is more “Lady in the Water” or “Sixth Sense”.

Oreo Flavored Chocolate Milk- When you’re on the go and don’t have the time to sit down for milk and cookies.

Weight Loss Supplements- Hey, everybody else is putting one out. And the best part is, it doesn’t even have to work for us to make bank!

Let’s Bring Professional Baseball Back To Baltimore!- I don’t know how much cabbage you’re looking to boil, but if you’ve got the wherewithal and a few wealthy pals, we can make this dream happen for the great fans of Charm City . . . even if that’s a secondary consideration. Hey, it’s not our fault that most young people in the region haven’t a blessed clue that Camden Yards is a baseball stadium. So let’s do what any megalomaniacal rich guy would do in this situation: Let’s bring another team into the equation, thereby convoluting the market with not one, but two teams that can’t compete. And it won’t matter a fig because in five or six years, what with the average return on investment being what it is in the MLB, we’ll be doubling our money at the very least. Then we sell to some other megalomaniacal rich guy who wants to move our team to somewhere the fuck else. It’s the new national pastime!

Two words: Edible Tofu

That’s all I got for now, but I’d be willing to talk jerky if you’re serious about the salt mines you have at your disposal. Until such time, I’m trusting that you won’t bogart any of these ideas for yourself. I was raised to trust the internet and all the many strangers who come courting on the thing, so don’t break my heart unless you really can’t help it.

Sincerely,

Billy Ray Valentine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

The Olympics, Jesse Owens, The Munich Massacre, & Hitler

With the Olympic games officially in the rearview, it’s back to the regular grind of good meeting better for this Friday the 13th episode. And as per usual, there is plenty of both to fill us up for our ride into the weekend. This week’s roster was a convergence of sadness and hope, heaven and . . . Kevin Costner? . . well, sort of.

The image above commemorates the 85th anniversary of Jesse Owens winning four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic games in Nazi Germany. With Adolf Hitler looking on, the track and field legend stood tall in the face of evil. Many credit Owens with delivering a blow to the myth of Aryan supremacy. Michael Wilbon opined that the further away from this defining moment we get, the fewer people remember how very important it was. We can’t accept such a fate as that, we just can’t.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

Modern Family' star Julie Bowen helps save NJ woman on hike

Many of you (yours truly) may know Julie Bowen as the hot mama from the long running show Modern Family. Welp, she made news recently after coming to the aid of a hiker along Utah’s Arches National Park trail. The hiker, Minnie John, had started feeling dizzy as she set off with her husband and son, so she told them to carry on without her. As bad luck would have it, she lost consciousness once they were out of sight, falling to the ground and bashing her nose.

As very good luck would have it, that’s when Bowen and her sister Annie- a doctor- happened along.

“All I remember is sitting there with my head in my hands secure on the rock. Next thing I hear someone with a familiar voice kept asking me questions. I wondered if I might be watching TV,” she wrote. “My eyes were closed and they said I will be fine and they were cleaning my face and bandaging me up. I heard that familiar voice saying I am going to be okay, a doctor is cleaning me up.”

Score another one for mom.

What Yankees thought about 'Field of Dreams' atmosphere

Thank you to the MLB for having a clue about something. The sport that has effectively been stripping its unique patina from the former national pastime in favor of progress (translation: greed) went back to class last night. Across nine innings, the sport returned to its golden age as the Yankees and White Sox played a game in the cornfields of Iowa. The “Field Of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa- near the site of the iconic motion picture of the same name- became the first MLB game ever played in the state.

It began with Kevin Costner walking out of the cornfields to get the festivities started and it ended with Tim Anderson of the White Sox smashing a two-run homer off Zack Britton to win it 8-7. In between, it was an old fashioned slugfest with a hand operated scoreboard and throwback uniforms and an idea whose time has finally come. After seeing the enthusiastic reception, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the game will return to the site. So basically, they built it . . and they will come back.

I’m not sure if it was heaven, but I’m thinking W.P. Kinsella was keeping score from above.

To paraphrase the great William Butler Yeats . . there are no strangers here, only a group of individuals who haven’t saved your life just yet. Which is what happened when a woman’s car plunged off the Eau Gallie causeway and into the Indian River in Melbourne, Florida in the early morning hours of July 21st.

Upon witnessing the car lose control, flipping upside down into the water, a couple pulled to the side and gave chase on foot. While the woman called police, the man jumped in the water and kept the driver’s head above water best he could until officer Peter Dolci arrived. After extricating her from the vehicle, the couple, along with officers Dolci and Luke Drummer administered CPR. Check out the police bodycam footage above, because it speaks to how precious every human life truly is; and how hard people, even complete strangers, will fight to keep that light from being extinguished.

Waitress in Tears After Receiving Thank You Note From Widow Eating Alone

Kindnesses are like wildflowers. They color our world while reminding us that beauty is everywhere if we just stop to take a breath and drink it in. Such was the case for Megan King- a waitress at Perkins- who took a few minutes out of her busy day to talk with an elderly woman who was dining alone.

“She [the customer who left the note] came in about halfway through my 17-hour shift, and it was on Sunday, which is always pretty busy,” said King. “About halfway through her meal, it started to slow down so we chatted for a few minutes. Small talk, nothing too deep. She told me she was almost 70 and has been slowing down a bit,”

Once the woman had left, King retrieved the check and her tip, beside which was a handwritten note which read as follows . . .

Thank you very much for your kind service. This was the first time eating out alone since my husband passed. I was hoping I could get through it.

Needless to say, Megan needed a minute. She excused herself from the floor and she did what any of us would have done in the same situation. She cried, hard. And after taking a few deep breaths, the great big world outside was feeling more like a hug than a hot mess. Because the greatest thing about being kind?

You get it back.

Martha Tucker, 94, trying on a wedding dress for the first time.

Martha Tucker was twenty four years old when she met a man who made her feel as if she was dancing on the moon. To be young and in love would seem to be a gift sent from the stars above, excepting for the fact she was a black woman living in the deep south at the time.

In 1952 America, like most black people, Martha found herself on the outside looking in. She married Lehman Tucker in Birmingham Alabama, without ever stepping foot into a bridal shop as a result of segregation laws.

Martha and Lehman Tucker after they were married.

“During that time, we couldn’t just walk in those stores,” She says. “I tried not to think about buying a wedding dress because I knew I wouldn’t even be allowed inside. I was very upset about it, but it’s not like there was anything I could do.”

A dream denied, but never forgotten. It was that dream that came back to life recently as Martha was watching the wedding scene from the 1988 movie Coming to America with her granddaughter Angela Strozier. She confided that it had always been her dream, to be able to try on a wedding dress.

“I never thought of my grandma’s dream of wearing a wedding dress because I didn’t even know it was a dream they were denied,” Angela said. “Women like my grandmother sacrificed so much for us to have the liberties we have now. For someone to be denied the simple opportunity of purchasing a dress of her choice really shone a light on the reality of our history,”

Martha Tucker being fitted into her gown, veil and garter belt.

On July 3rd, the ladies went to brunch before heading over to David’s Bridal in Hoover, Alabama. That’s where Martha Tucker turned back time, sixty-nine years worth of time, when she donned a V-neck gown with embroidered sheer sleeves and sequins throughout. And then she walked down the hallway, imagining Lehman by her side even though she lost him to a heart attack in 1975.

For a moment in time, this moment, she was that twenty-four year old girl holding forever in her arms. “I wish he was here to see me in the dress. When I got married, I promised myself I would wear a wedding dress one day, and at least I finally did.”

Love always wins.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZRn4auk4PQ

Clowns To The Left Of Us, Danger To The Right

Is it possible to have too much information at your fingertips?

The question came to me as I was watching two sports analysts go at it on a debate show recently. The topic of conversation had to do with the best NBA player of all time. This isn’t something the vast majority of the population gives a flying Wallenda about, to be honest. But these guys deliberated until they had created a dually believable narrative, whittling it into a potent mash. Of course, well enough wasn’t left alone for very long, and as often happens inside this time of nonsense and instability, the shit went south. Further south than a Lynyrd Skynyrd Key West tour.

The succinct nature of their respective points soon gave way to a volatility whose pitch was a bitch, on wheels. And so the evaporative nature of modern discourse held sway until I stopped trying to figure out whose opinion was most valid and started wondering who was going to break out a “Yo mama!” first.

Of course, I recognize that information doesn’t fool people . . people fool people. But armed with enough information, anyone with half a brain can paint their argument into Van Gogh. And half the room will toast the bold and dramatic brushstrokes while the other half of the room reaches for a carving knife with which to cut off their ears.

The touchstone, regrettably, has been bastardized. As if Rob Zombie got hold of the Constitution and turned our fundamental principles into a kill count. Educated opinions have given way to a zealotry that seeks to deify even the most corrupt of men. Meaningful dialogue has been relegated to the ash heap thanks to dissociative politics that attempts to guilt us into confessing to crimes we didn’t commit.

What good is having all this information at our fingertips if we’re going to dis- it and mis- it into an interpretation?

During this sports debate, as the decibel levels increased, so to, did the tells; those easy to miss points of entry that had been glossed over initially were now much easier to hear. Both sides, using their information not as a map, but as a boxing glove with which to punch out their opponent. Much the same way a peaceful transfer of power might stage a coup, or a state might flout the concerns of a pandemic, or a city council might consider me the enemy because I’m an aging white dude.

I don’t know how we can possibly achieve a middle ground, because to quote Buffalo Springfield, nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. And I have not a blessed answer residing under my cap, except for one.

Michael Jordan . . . duh.

 

 

 

Olympic Heroes Of The Week!

Simone Biles wins bronze medal on balance beam at the Olympics

Of course the lovely Simone Biles is gonna score my billboard capture in this week’s special Olympic edition. Because she just won the best damn bronze medal in the history of ever. After removing herself from the final three events in the women’s all-around last week, her team held on for a silver medal while this young lady held onto her mental well being. It was a win merging with an even bigger win. And it was made all the more beautiful when Simone was the first American to congratulate Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova after her team won the gold.

And then this week happened and Simone came back. She competed in the balance beam and while she wasn’t quite her championship self, she was plenty good enough to gain the podium yet again. And I have to think this bronze medal is going to mean every bit as much as all the other medals she has earned in her career. Because this one is representative of her every day struggle, where winning and losing take a backseat to peace of mind.

“I was just happy to be able to perform regardless of the outcome,” Biles said. “I did it for me and I was proud of myself for being able to compete one more time.”

The result was worth its weight in gold.

It is the true spirit' - Olympics athletics gold shared for the first time in 113 years

What’s the only thing better than a gold medal at the Olympics? How about two gold medals? That is how it went down when Mutaz Essa Barshim of Quatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy ended up tied in the men’s high jump finals after four jumps each. An Olympic official informed them they had two choices: They could take part in a jump-off, or they could share the gold. Moments later, Tamberi was jumping into the arms of his friend and rival when Barshim decided on the latter.

Barshim explained it this way. “He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together. This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message,”

A cynic might scoff at the idea that the medal wasn’t settled on the field, but I really can’t blame the guys for choosing to share gold after watching the sheer joy on their faces. Let’s face it, they did something most athletes can only dream about.

They won a tie.

Belarus' Krystsina Tsimanouskaya 'won't return' home after Olympics

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya of Belarus has a story that puts everything in perspective. In her homeland, opposition leaders disappear and dissidents are threatened with assassination. Freedom of speech doesn’t stand a chance in a country that will silence anyone who speaks out about the government’s business in general, or president Alexander Lukashenko in particular. And it is in this vein that Tsimanouskaya found herself in the crosshairs of a “higher up”. And while I’m not saying this individual was the guy currently serving a sixth-term as President, I ain’t saying it isn’t.

The trouble began after the sprinter complained on Instagram that she had been forced to run the 4×400 relay by team officials, even though she had never competed in it before. She was subsequently banned by the team from participating in the 200 meters; a decision she tried to fight legally, but lost.

Tsimanouskaya was then told she needed to take the next flight home, where she would face “punishment” for her outspoken behavior. Thankfully she was intercepted and taken to the Polish embassy in Japan, after which she was flown to Vienna. Upon hearing the news, her husband travelled to Ukraine and hopes to be reunited with her soon. This ordeal has changed Krystsina’s definition of ‘home’.

Now, it’s wherever she can be reacquainted with her family.

Heading into Tokyo, American Lily King was the prohibitive favorite to defend her title as queen of the breaststroke; the defending Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion hadn’t lost the event since 2015.

But that’s why they play the games. Because South African swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker had something else in mind. And if breaking the world record (held by King) wasn’t an expectation, guess what? It happened. As a result, Schoenmaker is bringing home South Africa’s first gold medal in a quarter century.

But the reason this story makes it to Friday is because of what happened next. If you want the cheat code on this video, fast-forward to 2:42 when she touches the wall, followed by King. And then a group hug that reminds us why we watch the games, and why we love them so.

Tokyo Olympics: U.S. Runner Helps Competitor to Finish Line After Fall | PEOPLE.com

Imagine being thisclose to realizing a life long dream, and then in the next moment, it’s gone just like that.

Isaiah Jewett doesn’t have to imagine this scenario, seeing as how he experienced it in the men’s 800 meters. As the runners were kicking up their heels for one final push around the curb, Jewett could feel it. He had a top two run within his reach, which was going to put him in the finals. And then Botswana’s Nijel Amos clipped him from behind and the two men were collapsing to the ground, taking that Olympic dream with them.

“I just felt like when I was starting to lift, somebody hit the back of my heel and that caused me to fall,” Jewett said. “It was devastating. I’m not going to lie.”

Out of this stunning loss came something you can’t practice. When Jewett got to his feet, he helped his opponent up and then the two men embraced as Amos offered his apologies before they set off once again, buoyed by a spirit that defines what these games truly mean. Because while winning and losing belong to the headlines temporarily, sportsmanship has keep. When they arrived at the finish line, Amos yielded so that Jewett could finish ahead of him.

It was the kind of moment not even a podium could top.