People often want to be acknowledged for “doing the right thing” and it’s a fairly natural thing. What’s even better than doing the right thing is doing for the sake of doing it, with no regard to public credit.
It never has been easy to know what to make of Shawn Crawford.
The guy got a reputation as a flake by racing against a giraffe and a zebra on a reality TV show. (He beat the giraffe, then lost to the zebra, but demanded another shot because the zebra had false-started. Crawford lost the rematch as well).
I totally remember seeing that on TV! It was called Man vs. Beast. Hee.
Or you can give him the prize a rival thinks Crawford deserves after one of the best gestures of sportsmanship I ever have heard about.
It is summed up on the home page of Churandy Martina’s website, www.churandy.com. In the lower right hand corner, Martina says: “I truly hope Crawf gets the international Fairplay award for this!”
He was talking about Crawford’s decision to give Martina, who is from the Netherlands Antilles, the Olympic silver medal the U.S. runner had won after a bizarre series of events in the 200-meter final at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Crawford can’t talk about this, said his agent, Kimberly Holland, because the race results are under appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which this week postponed a hearing on the matter to Jan. 15.
But Martina noted on the web site, “Yes!! It is true, Shawn gave me my Olympic medal back.’’ The site also has a picture of Martina wearing the medal.
Given that string for an Olympic medal is something you build your life around, I think it’s incredible that he gave back the medal. He gave it to the other person without waiting for an official judgment from the board, and he gave it without any fanfare. The only reason this news got notice is because the recipient posted about it.
Plus, this from earlier in the article just takes it over the top:
He ran in a Phantom of the Opera mask at an international meet in Italy. (The mask slipped, covered his eyes and led to his disqualification for running out of his lane).
Hee. Thanks for being so awesome, Shawn Crawford!
Update: What the heck, here is the Man Versus Beast clip: