Sometimes, just sometimes, the unending daydreams and fascinations we have about meeting our sports idols actually become reality. These real-life meet n’ greets occur at sports camps, PR events and the always adrenaline rushing post-game autograph session.
Of course time and place are not the important factors here. Shaking hands, sharing a few words, or a simple face-to-face acknowledgment, can send many of us into a star struck shock no matter where it happens. That’s the beauty of meeting your hero.
Whether a split second or daylong visit, our pro icons help us Dream and Believe, as Olympic Gold Medal Softball Pitcher, Jennie Finch would say.
A baseball fanatic, Finch learned at a young age, that not every pro star has the time or will to offer fans a quick signature or few words of advice. Waiting hours after a Los Angeles Dodgers game, Finch was denied an autograph by one of her favorite players, disappointing her beyond words.
Who knew this young fan would turn out to be the face of American softball, earning two Olympic medals and literally launching the sport into the international spotlight. Working to give each and every fan the same respect she desired as a kid, Finch refuses to leave a game or event without fulfilling autograph or picture requests – often keeping her for hours. But from her point of view, greeting the next generation of softball fans is time well spent.
And that’s just it. Nearly all of our athletic role models started off as fans and amateurs. That’s why we’re celebrating the joy of real people engaging with their athletic icons in our new series: Believe It!
Up first is a story from a 15-year-old high school wrestler from Tennessee. [Griffyn Broyles], who shined at the 2010 national high school wrestling competition, finishing 9th, has always looked up to [Henry Cejudo].
Cejudo, a 4x high school state champion became the youngest American wrestler to win Olympic Gold, when at age 21; he defeated Japan’s Tomohiro Matsunaga in the 55 kg weight class in front of thousands of fans in Beijing, China. Learn more here.
Earlier this year, Griffyn not only received a special birthday phone call from Cejudo, but he also received an invitation to attend his idol's summer wrestling camp - sending Griffyn over the moon with excitement. Read Griffyn's blog recapping the experience here.
You’re on deck next. Share you photos, videos and stories from your pro hero meeting with us at: email@example.com. We can’t wait to feature you in our next Believe It! Real Fans, True Heroes segment.