Need to stop a war? Look no further than soccer. A civil war in Ivory Coast came to a cease-fire during the 2006 Football World Championship when the national soccer team progressed to the finals. Sport 1. War 0.
In the 1980 Olympics, an ice hockey team of mainly college students from America stepped onto the ice against a formidable Soviet team dubbed undefeatable. Sport had other plans.
About 15 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes. Some experts claim that certain diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by regular exercise, a healthy diet and losing excess weight. You do the math.
Adrenaline junkies get their fix from sport, as well as dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Hit me up.
Jason Pisano has cerebral palsy. A debilitating disease. But his left foot still works like a charm. He's 50 marathons in, but who's counting?
Throughout the developing world, youth sports programs are being combined with education about treatment and prevention of HIV, which makes sport HIV's cancer.
About two thousand dollars richer. Experts calculated that's the amount of money that could be saved in medical costs within two years when sedentary adults increase their physical activity to 90 minutes a week. Show me the money.
For 200,000 young refugees in Africa, the MES program provides access to education and sport. This raises self-esteem and teaches the importance of peaceful coexistence, which can stop future wars, which could bring peace to a volatile region. If you're smart enough to sport, you can save the world.
Meet Jason McElwain. He scored six three-pointers in a school basketball game. He matched the school record. He is autistic. Did we mention he scored six three-pointers in a school basketball game?
In 2007, South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius ran the 100 meters in 10.91 seconds. Without any legs. The first amputee to break the sub-11-seconds barrier. Some critics claim that the carbon fiber blades he ran on gave him an unfair advantage. Those critics had legs.
In Haiti, a sports program offered by the HOC (the Haitian Olympic Committee) together with UNICEF runs 52 camps around the Haitian province for more than 36,000 displaced children every day. Where there's sport, there's hope.
In Afghanistan, sport is being used to bridge gaps and prevent conflict. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan used cricket and volleyball to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Sport, a force to be reckoned with.
In April 1971, during the height of the Cold War, a delegation from the American Ping Pong National Team set foot on Chinese soil to play an exhibition tournament. This moment marked a thaw in relations between the two countries that politicians had been unable to achieve. When in doubt, ping pong.
In 2008, players on a Central Washington University softball team carried an opposing team member around the bases after she collapsed from injury following a three-run homer she just hit, despite the fact that doing so would contribute to their elimination from the playoffs. Move over, Spartacus.
Amputee soccer has given the victims of the barbaric practice of amputations during the Sierra Leone civil war a new lease on life. Former outcasts have become beacons of hope. That's what we call a result.
At age 13, Princess Haya Al Hussein of Jordan became the first female to represent her country internationally in equestrian sport. She's the only woman to win a Pan Arab Medal in show jumping, the only Jordanian athlete to turn pro, and the first and only woman in Jordan to hold a heavy truck license, so she can drive her horses to competitions. This makes her a triple threat against ageism, sexism, and princess dresses that are hard to ride in.
In 1992, Olympic sprinter Derek Redmond pulled his hamstring in the back stretch of the 400m. POP. To many that would have been the end of the competition. But not Derek. Derek picked himself back up and, with his dad by his side, limped the grueling final 175 meters to the finish line. Ligament shmigament.