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eJournal USA: Sports Strengthen Communities

22 June 2012
Young runner carrying another runner (AP Images)

True sportsmanship: Meghan Vogel (right) carries competitor Arden McMath to the finish line in a 3,200-meter race, making sure that McMath crosses first.

Having won the 1,600-meter race an hour earlier at a state meet in Columbus, Ohio, Meghan Vogel was falling behind in the 3,200-meter race. In last place with 20 meters to go, Vogel saw competitor Arden McMath collapse ahead of her. Vogel helped McMath to her feet and carried her to the finish line, making sure McMath crossed ahead of her.

Many young athletes dream of becoming superstars in their sport, but making big bucks in the big leagues is not what sports are all about. In the United States, sports play a major role in community life. Players learn valuable lessons about discipline, teamwork and tolerance that help them succeed on and off the field. This issue of eJournal USA explores the integral role of sports in American society and highlights the power of sports to strengthen community bonds that transcend differences.

Sports in American Society
By Rick Telander, senior sportswriter for the Chicago Sun-Times
Playing sports helps Americans overcome differences and bond as individuals — player to player — and as communities.

From Outsider to Olympian
By Linda Miller, Olympic rower
With the help of mentors, family and community, Linda Miller transformed from a sports-shy child to a world-class athlete.


Scout Bassett: Defying Odds, Redefining Ability
Paralympian Scout Bassett has overcome many barriers to success.

Fugees Family: Finding a Home on the Field
Jordan-born Luma Mufleh helps refugee children adjust to their new lives in the United States through soccer.

Oren Lyons: The Legacy of Lacrosse
Invented by the Iroquois tribes, lacrosse is a sport with a long history of bringing communities together.

Ibtihaj Muhammad: Forging a New Frontier for Fencing
Ibtihaj Muhammad wants all minority athletes to know they can achieve their dreams, regardless of race, religion or gender.

Jennifer Beltran: Serving the Community
A volleyball star gives back to the inner-city community that supported her.


Playing It Forward: Sharing the Power of Sports
Top American athletes team up with sports enthusiasts in communities all over the world.