After four full sports seasons of hosting awards on this blog, I’ve learned one thing: the parents of athletes can learn a lot from the athletes themselves when it comes to sportsmanship and class.
The number of disparaging comments that are sent in, most of which don’t get posted because they cross the line, is embarrassing. They are often penned by disgruntled adults.
The athletes that are finalists for awards want to win, but they also have perspective. In our first Team of the Week vote this winter, the Wilton gymnastics team lost a close contest, but sent in a number of comments congratulating the winning team and expressing appreciation for the recognition.
Today came another example, from Danbury’s Maya Walton. In a close battle that ended today for our Winter Player of the Year, Walton lost to New Canaan’s Olivia Hompe by just 127 votes, with 6,941 cast. Until the final 40 minutes, the two athletes went back and forth within 10 votes of one another.
There were several comments sent in on behalf of both girls, often knocking the other.
I sent Walton a message today to congratulate her on her accomplishments this season. She wrote back to me this afternoon:
“Thank you so much for opening the opportunity for me to rally together track fans that I didn’t even know exists. I hope this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing from me.”
Adults, take notice.