Thank you for your love
There are things bigger than sport, of course, and health - mental and physical - falls into that category. Thatâ€™s why Majak Dawâ€™s open letter leads the list of our favourite athlete-driven stories from around the world.
Also, two of the NFLâ€™s megastars offer an insight into what drives them, one on The Playersâ€™ Tribune looking to the past and one on Religion of Sports looking to the future. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady donâ€™t mess with the small stuff, as you might have guessed.
Thereâ€™s also a Supercar driver explaining the ultimate sin, a tennis player telling the tale of a kneecap gone astray, an F1 driver who canâ€™t play cricket and a pugilist with the most delicate of fingers.
These are among the top stories this week about elite sportspeople, as told by elite sportspeople, from the best athlete platforms around the world.
Just like you get on PlayersVoice every day.
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Itâ€™s short but incredibly powerful and heartwarming. In just seven sentences, Majak Daw said everything we could have hoped to hear about where heâ€™s at a month or so after he was rescued at the base of Melbourneâ€™s Bolt Bridge.
The incident was a shock and shone a light on not only the depth of the mental health issue across society, but among sportspeople.
Like, no doubt, the entire AFL and wider sporting communities, PlayersVoice was thrilled to read Majakâ€™s open letter, posted on the North Melbourne website this week, in which he said he was â€śmaking huge stridesâ€ť with his physical and mental recovery and felt â€śblessed with a second chance at lifeâ€ť.
Changing Teams, not friends
Ah, the old Ford-Holden rivalry strikes again. And, this time Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom was caught in the middle.Â
One of the worldâ€™s nicest guys explains why he was peeved about some of misinformation being bandied around when his 13-year stint with Fordâ€™s Tickford Racing came to an end late last year.
This piece at Exclusive Insight is Markâ€™s way of thanking his former colleagues and declaring his desire to start afresh in the next part of his career.Â
For the wounded
Revealing his familyâ€™s military service - his grandfather earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star - the Green Bay Packers quarterback eloquently explains the concept of being part of â€?something biggerâ€™ as basic human pursuit.
In Rodgersâ€™ case, itâ€™s not serving in his countryâ€™s military as his grandfather did, itâ€™s playing what he calls â€?the ultimate team sportâ€™ and partnering with a project to help injured service personnel.
To @AaronRodgers12, there is no limit to what we can and should do to take care of our veterans.
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) January 15, 2021
While weâ€™re on NFL, you might have heard of this guy. He looks pretty good for an old fella, too.
Religion of Sportâ€™s latest episode of Why Sports Matter features the iconic Tom Brady revealing why he feels compelled to put his body and soul through the rigours of another five seasons in the game.
Just for reference, Brady is now 41, and playing in his 19th season.Â
"I would love to play 5 more years."
— Religion of Sports (@religionofsport) January 10, 2021
Manny Pacquiao has left many an opponent sore and sorry. Next in line could be Adrien Broner, who takes on the Filipino boxer/Senator in aÂ WBA welterweight title bout in Vegas this weekend.
But first, a song - and proof that the hands which have caused so much damage also have an artistic quality, according to this video by Uninterrupted. Youâ€™re perfectly in tune, Manny. Playing great.
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) January 7, 2021
Googoo For tennisâ€™s Gaga
Make sure youâ€™re sitting down for this one and preferably havenâ€™t just had a big meal.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands is known as the Lady Gaga of tennis for her eccentric outfits and colourful nature. She even had one of Ladyâ€™s fashion designers produce a tennis ball dress for her to wear to the Wimbledon player party.
Her brutal injury at the home of tennis, followed by her determined comeback, revealed another side to Mattek-Sands. In this piece with PlayersVoice, the American Olympic mixed doubles champion goes into, at times gory, detail about what it feels like when your kneecap ends up in your quad muscle.
Itâ€™s a headline writerâ€™s dream. A pun-makerâ€™s bread and butter. A backyard cricketerâ€™s mother lode. Yes, Marcus Stoinis, youâ€™re right, Daniel Ricciardo can drive a car but not a cricket ball.Â
This little Insta-gem from the cricketer went viral last week - and probably gave the heavies at the Aussie motor racing aceâ€™s Renault F1 Team a little heart skip.
glory To our tEAm
â€śItâ€™s a passion, indispensable loveâ€¦ Itâ€™s like your own child. You come to the match, you feed it, you nurture itâ€ť, one fan explains.
Another, says: â€śBursaspor is a mortar for this city because Bursa is an emigrant town, there are people here from everywhere. And the club glues everyone together around it.â€ť
Another beautiful piece from Dugoutâ€™s â€?A Football Cityâ€™ video series, this time on Turkish club Bursa - which, incidentally, has the worldâ€™s coolest stadium.
Check out the first episode of Bursa â€“ A Football City here: https://t.co/nAlllzWWZU
— Dugout (@Dugout) November 16, 2020