Google+

The Sports World Loses a Truly Courageous Competitor

 

The Sports World Loses a Truly Courageous Competitor

 

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race is called the “Last Great Race on Earth,” and that is no understatement. It certainly is the largest test of strength, determination and courage that any sport could possibly provide. For those who are not familiar, this annual long-distance race is run in early March and the distance covered is the span between Anchorage and Nome.

 

A ‘musher’ and a team of sixteen sled dogs make up a ‘contestant’ and the race can take anywhere from nine-to fifteen days, depending on the harrowing weather that can come up at a moment’s notice.

 

Beginning in 1973, the Iditarod was actually first put together in order to test the who the best sled dog mushers actually were, however, it has over time grown into one of the most highly competitive races in the world. 2011 was the year where the fastest time was set by a man named John Baker and his team, who arrived in Nome and crossed the finished line in 8 days, 19 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds. This year a musher with a very familiar name, seeing as that he won the race in 2004, came back to win it again. Mitch Seavey earned the right to preen in 2013 at the age of 53, making him the oldest person to ever win the race.

 

The history behind the Iditarod trail, itself, is amazingly interesting. Becoming one of the four National Historic Trails in 1978, the Iditarod is actually named for the town which was a small village that turned into the bustling center of the “Inland Empire’s Iditarod Mining District” in 1910, and Iditarod 2then back into a literal ghost town when the gold rush came to an end. Many portions of the unique and harrowing trail were used only by Eskimos for hundreds of years, before the Russian fur traders descended in the early 1800s.

 

As many know, Alaska is one of those far distant places that requires anyone who wishes to be a part of the stunning surroundings to have a strong back and a strong enough will to survive. For a long while, Nome was simply known as being icebound, where dog sleds had to be used in order to deliver mail, firewood, food and other extremely necessary supplies across the endless Interior. As time went on, bush pilots took over the delivering of such items but the dog sleds were still used in the most rural parts of Alaska. Yes, even though snowmobiles came to life eventually, the dogs still remained a major part of daily life.

 

Mushing was always seen as a popular sport, and grew bigger when mining towns and villages shut down. Although many do not know, the Iditarod was not the first competitive event that took place in this frostbitten area of the world. All the way back to 1908, the AAS – All Alaska Sweepstakes – was a part of the State; a race that went from Nome to Candle and back again (roughly 408 miles). This is when the first beautiful Siberian huskies were introduced to the frozen tundra and quickly became a familiar site by becoming the most favored racing dog in the world.

 

People have a hard time even fathoming the fact that Iditarod teams are – in most cases – facing blizzards, whiteouts, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds that literally make the ‘high’ of the day -100 degrees. In addition, the trail itself is truly harsh; frozen tundra combined with forests, hills, mountain passes that are beyond life-threatening even when its clear and the sun is shining bright, as well frozen rivers have to be crossed. And even though the race begins in the ‘big city’ of Anchorage, the trail is mostly all about small towns and villages and Eskimo settlements that are spaced quite far apart, leaving a whole bunch of emptiness for the contestants.

 

Yet even with these hideous conditions, the Iditarod is still the most popular sporting event in Alaska, and the top mushers and their teams become local celebrities when the race is over. There’s no shortage of competitors, either. Annually, more than fifty mushers and about a thousand dogs are a part of this competition, and many come from fourteen countries. Over history, an international team has won the race, as well as two women mushers named Libby Riddles and Susan Butcher – the latter being the talented musher who not only won one race but then dominated the entire field for five years straight.

 

Sadly, one of the best competitors this year has passed away. A fantastic five-year-old by the name of Dorado was found dead on Friday; he asphyxiated while getting buried in snow during severe wind during the race. A rookie musher by the name of Paige Drobny had Dorado on her team but dropped him from the race on Monday so he could be cared for in an area already set up for situations just like these. The musher finished in 34th place, however Dorado – who was last checked at 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning – didn’t make it across any finish line.

 

The Iditarod this year was, yet again, a race filled with excitement and courage, but a veil of mourning is now being worn by the competitors. All anyone can hope is that the ‘shy but happy’ Dorado left the frozen tundra doing what he loved to do. God bless…

 This moment in Sports is brought to you by:  BeFirst Media Group

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Entertainment

Mark Wahlberg Vehicle Revisits BP Oil Spill

  Deepwater Horizon Blu-Ray Review by Kam Williams Mark Wahlberg Vehicle Revisits BP Oil Spill On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, located 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana, exploded when high-pressure methane gas blew out the drill pipe. 11 members of the crew perished in the ensuing fiery inferno which engulfed the platform. The accident also caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, with over 200 million … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Concerned Father Creates Children’s Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again

  Concerned Father Creates Children's Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again   Orlando, FL (January 16, 2017) – EOTO Books & Publishing announced today the immediate release of “The Christopher OluFela Series of Books for Kids” written by father and creative children’s picture book author Lee Chavous. The books take a unique approach to inform young readers of a rich African American … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Groundswell for Chazelle!

  Damien Chazelle The “La La Land” Interview with Kam Williams Groundswell for Chazelle! Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. In 2013, his short film of the same name won the Short Film … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Carolina Skiff at Miami’s Favorite Boat Show

  Carolina Skiff at Miami's Favorite Boat Show By Craig Lamb You might say “new” is a reoccurring theme of Miami’s favorite boat show coming up soon. A new location with hundreds of new boats, including never-before-seen models being debuted by Carolina Skiff, is a great way to kick off the season. Few boat shows offer buyers the chance to see new boats where they ultimately belong—floating on the water in a real time setting. You can … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Can Troy Aikman Win MVP?

  Can Troy Aikman Win MVP? by Amy Lignor   What a strange title for an article, aye? Of course the ‘old man’ of the Dallas Cowboys can’t win MVP. Troy Aikman was an elite QB, with three Super Bowl rings to prove that fact. However, Aikman hasn’t actually suited-up since leaving behind his Cowboys uniform in 2001. The number one overall draft pick in 1989, Aikman was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVII, and was elected to the Pro Football … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Spotlight on Africa

  Spotlight on Africa by Amy Lignor   As the year winds down and comes to a close, it is Africa that is receiving some headlines that call for many changes and improvements to be made in the coming years. It was Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Nairobi, Kenya) that spoke recently about the African Union Commission (AUC) and how the group must provide leadership in the coming years. After all, the nation of Africa is, in truth, the cradle … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

    The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World by Amy Lignor   Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

2017 Will Be Green!

    2017 Will Be Green! by Amy Lignor   This statement is not a “hopeful” imagination talking; it is actually quite true. Very recently the Pantone Color Institute declared that green will most definitely be THE color for 2017. This is a company that calls themselves the “global color authority,” and states that everything from high fashion to trends will be on the green path throughout next year. So…when we look at a “green” … [Read More its Good for You...]