Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sports & Tragedy

Two recent articles for your thoughts...

EIGHT BELLES by Barbara Crafton (from Geranium Farm)

Such a brief period of excitement, the running of the Kentucky Derby -- most of us notice it right before it occurs, read about the front-runner, and then turn on the television for our annual peek into the world of thoroughbred racing. Maybe somebody has a Derby party, at which everyone has a mint julep.

For those involved in it, of course, it's the culmination of years of work and thousands of dollars. And for everyone, this year, it was over in a sudden stab of heartache, the impressive performance of the winner overshadowed by the tragedy of the only filly in the race being put down right where she fell, having broken first one ankle and then the other. In the newspaper photograph, she raised her beautiful head to look in agonized disbelief at her injury, while her people gathered around her to keep her from struggling to her feet and her rider stood numbly off to one side. Moments later, she and her terrible pain were both gone.

They are such beautiful animals.

Read the rest here.

Need for Speed Brings Tragedy at the Derby
by Frank Deford (from NPR)

More and more, sport — especially in the United States — has been reduced to speed and power. The very nature of sport, its elemental base, has always been about who's the fastest or who's the strongest. But guile and gumption used to play a larger part in our games.

No one knows why the filly Eight Belles collapsed, her front ankles fractured, right after finishing second at the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. She looked just fine up until the moment she fell. It was like the sad little two-sentence notices you read in the newspaper every once in a while and then forget ... about some apparently healthy high school or college athlete who suddenly, mysteriously collapses and dies at practice.

You can read the rest here.

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