Over the years, many articles have been written across different publications about the importance of sports. Of course, in today’s social and political climate, it can seem trivial to talk about sports. Occasionally, I catch myself thinking that the career path I would like to take into sports journalism is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. When I start thinking this way, I tend to look back at why I was drawn to sports in the first place.
I wasn’t someone who grew up really liking sports. I never played sports, so I didn’t have a great knowledge of them. The athletes I saw on TV didn’t look like me or really inspire me.
Sports really came into my life when I needed them. I was at a place in my life when it was important for me to see courageous and strong female athletes working hard and succeeding. I first began to see this in women’s college basketball. I would watch the games and see these teammates who had so much love for each other and really raised each other up. They worked as a unit and depended on each other. Having an athlete to look up to can be a defining experience for a young person.
Sports are so much more than the calculated wins and losses. There’s also the human emotion and sacrifice that goes into the game. Athletes can inspire anyone.
Sometimes when I need a pick-me-up, I watch clips from “The Miracle on Ice” win against the Soviet Union in 1980 (I know, I’m pretty cheesy). Even though it can seem trivial, sports give people hope and lift them up.
Sports seem unimportant until you really talk to people about why they love them. So many people watch sports because they grew up doing so and sports feel like home. Others find inspiration watching athletes push their bodies. Some people connect a particular team or sport to a specific time in their lives, so that is why they choose to follow that sport or team. The human connection that comes from being a sports fan and loving an athlete or connecting with other fans is incredible.
Athletes and sports may not be solving world hunger or making policy decisions, but they are influential and make a difference.
Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.