- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 26, 2002

Noble: Gold-medal winning speedskater Jack Shea, for his lifelong display of sportsmanship.
Shea could have probably added to the two gold medals he won as a 21-year-old at the 1932 Olympic games in Lake Placid. But after learning about the brutalities of the Hitler regime, he decided not to compete at the 1936 Winter Games, which were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Instead, he became a literal patriarch of Olympic sportsmanship. His son, Jim, competed in cross-country skiing at the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and his grandson, Jim Jr., will continue the Olympic family run in Salt Lake as a member of the U.S. team.
Tragically, the founder of America's first three-generation Olympic family was killed last week by a drunk driver. Yet his spirit will live on in the Jack Shea Award, given annually to a speedskater who personifies the ideals of morality, honor, good sportsmanship and good citizenship.
It also lives on in his grandson. After September 11, Jim Jr. was told by his friends to not advertise his U.S. citizenship while competing in Europe. Instead, Jim Jr. boldly painted American flags on his helmet and his sled.

Knave: Boxer Mike Tyson, for a disgraceful display of brutality.
The best boxers have usually been "blessed" with a certain measure of brutality. Their profession demands it. However, the majority of fighters, whether boxers or hockey players, know that the ropes around the ring and the board around the rink delineate definite behavioral boundaries. What may be permitted within (namely, pummeling other participants black and blue … and green and orange) is simply not acceptable outside the ring.
"Iron Mike" never seems to have gotten that concept through his rather tin ear. That shouldn't be too surprising, considering the Van Gogh-style impression he made on the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield during their 1997 meeting. At his most recent ear, er, face off, a press conference this week to give publicity to a championship bout this April, Tyson produced another monsterpiece of brutality with Lennox Lewis.
Just as the press conference started, and with no apparent provocation, Tyson tried to tear into Lennox Lewis. While he didn't land his first punch, he did manage to get in a few licks, or at least bites. When the brawl was over, Lewis had a gash on his leg, which was apparently caused by Tyson's teeth.
But teeth aren't the only part of Tyson's anatomy that have given him trouble. More than a decade ago, then-wife Robin Givens hit him with a divorce suit, after he hit her with what he called "the best punch I've ever thrown in my entire life." A few years later, he served three years in jail after being convicted of rape.
He might soon face more hard time. As Lewis was inadvertently giving Tyson something more to chew on this week, so were police investigators in Las Vegas. They announced that they had found evidence to back up the claims of a woman who Tyson allegedly sexually assaulted this past September. Considering that Tyson continues to make brutal choices when outside of the ring, putting him into a cage of concrete for the foreseeable future might not be a bad idea.

CORRECTION: An editorial published Jan. 21 incorrectly identified Greg Scandlen. Mr. Scandlen is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide