Almost everyone cheers for their home team. But who cheers for unknown strangers on an unknown team?

I was at a high school track meet in the Colorado Springs area. Towards the end of the day, in the 3200m (2 mile) race, all the runners had crossed the finish line except one. There were hundreds of spectators in the stands…and one boy on the track.

He was coming into the stretch a good minute or more behind the next-to-last finisher.

This runner was out of gas, in pain, but he had his game face on and was finishing with the best kick he could muster. He was finishing purely for pride.

As he passed our section of the bleachers, one of our track moms stood up. She started yelling, “Run! Run! Come on, boy in blue!” She started clapping. We all clapped and cheered for the boy in the blue jersey. We didn’t know him, didn’t know his school. But someone saw his courage and perseverance and cheered him on. And then so did a lot of the rest of us.

It’s a good thing to cheer for the home team. It’s also good to cheer for brave strangers.

2 thoughts on “Cheering for Strangers

  1. Great story. It demonstrates that we are only interested in winners. The rest don’t count. But effort does have its day.
    Back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics there was a young fellow out of some where in Africa. Just a tiny country. He had practiced for these games in the hotel pool where he was employed. He was no “swimmer”. He was in the race of his young life. He was a Google country mile behind the pack. The other competitors were done and out of the water.

    I don’t think it was a mom (mum is Aussie speak) that noticed this guy. Suddenly the swimming centre errupted into cheering for him. He reached the and I rememder our Aussie swimmers hauled him out of the water to rapturous applause. The effort had been worth it. He became a celeb and an companion with the Aussie team.


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