Subscribe to The Atlantic and get 2 free issues

Stand Up Speak Out

Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison were sexually abused when they were young. What happened, and how they healed:

"The bad cop finally got through to her when she won the U.S. Open in 2007 and felt absolutely nothing and told him she was quitting for good. He invited her to his house, this silver-haired man with the curt air of an old European farmer bent over his grapes in search of fungus, and he sat with her in his backyard watching the steam rise from a lake at dawn. 'You know, kid,' he said, 'what happened, happened. It was a terrible thing, but some day you have to get over it. It doesn't have to define you. You have a chance to do something great with your life, but I can't want it for you. Terrible things happen to people every day, but they've got to get back up.'

"No magic happened. She wasn't healed. She needed to quit dropping out of therapy and stay with it long enough to dig deeper and see wider. She needed to keep going through the motions long enough to begin harvesting all the fruit that sports dangles alongside its thorns, the sense of purpose and belonging, the team dinners and encouragement and teasing and pranks. But the deep truth of Big Jim's words finally sank into her: Yes, sex abuse had occurred to her, but sex abuse wasn't her. And for crissakes, Kid, stop feeling guilty and put that coach in the slammer before he does it to someone else!

"She wavered, but finally, on a winter day in 2008, she walked into a federal courtroom in Dayton to confront her former coach."
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: Dec. 17, 2012
LENGTH: 37 minutes (9332 words)

The Wheels of Life

Over the past 33 years, Dick Hoyt has pushed, pulled and carried his disabled son, Rick, through more than 1,000 road races and triathlons, including 28 Boston Marathons. But as time bears down on them, how much longer can they keep it up?
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: April 18, 2011
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7386 words)

The Unexpected Hero

Former Broncos back Floyd Little and ardent fan Tom Mackie each helped the other fulfill his lifelong dream
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: July 26, 2010
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6686 words)

Gareth Thomas ... The Only Openly Gay Male Athlete

He's 6'3" and 225 pounds of muscle. He's broken his nose five times, fractured both shoulders and lost eight teeth. He's drunk his mates under the table and brawled by their side. He's been named to the Welsh national rugby team more times than any other man. And, among active players in major professional team sports, he's ..."Wot, butt? You come to this tiny village in this tiny country and tell me that I'm the only gay man in a major team sport who's out of the closet?" ... "All the diversity in America, and no one there has done this?"
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: May 3, 2010
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5468 words)

House Of Hockey

Pierre and Linda Lamoureux of Grand Forks, N.D., didn't set out to breed a full hockey team, but that's what they got: six college players, including two Olympians who will skate for Team USA in Vancouver
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: Feb. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5865 words)

The Power Of One

At age 17 Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: Sept. 28, 2009
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6510 words)

Remember His Name

Even as a boy Pat Tillman felt a destiny, a need to do the right thing whatever it cost him. When the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11, he thought about what he had to do and then walked away from the NFL and became an Army Ranger. #Sept11
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
PUBLISHED: Sept. 11, 2006
LENGTH: 46 minutes (11700 words)

The Little Girl in Grave 1565

For 47 years after she died in a tragic circus fire, no one knew her name. This is the story of two people: one obsessed with finding out who she was, the other wanting only to forget what happened.
AUTHOR:Gary Smith
SOURCE:Life
PUBLISHED: Nov. 1, 1991
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4872 words)