Truly great people are not defined by what they take but by what they give. American sprinter Shawn Crawford took a giant leap toward greatness at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. As a 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Crawford had taken the victory lap and heard the roar of the crowd before. He earned another opportunity four years later in the finals of the 200-meters. Crawford finished fourth, but was awarded the silver medal. The second- and third-place finishers had committed lane violations and were disqualified. Crawford felt he had not earned the silver medal and that it rightfully belonged to Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles. Martina would have placed second had it not been for the disqualification. At a track meet in Zurich the week after the Beijing Games, Martina received a package at his hotel. It was from Crawford. Inside the package was the silver medal and a note that read, “Churandy, I know I can’t replace the moment, but I wanted you to have this because I believe it’s rightfully yours. – Shawn Crawford.”Humility occurs when a person’s ego sits down and his character stands up. Shawn Crawford allowed his character to stand boldly.
Shawn Crawford is being recognized by the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance and the St. Louis Sports Commission.