The 3rd annual Invictus Games open tomorrow in Toronto, Canada and will feature some of the toughest athletes with disabilities from around the world. The event was created by Prince Harry of the UK and, according to the events homepage, involves “550 competitors from 17 nations” competing in 12 adaptive sports. ESPN today published a photo story titled “We are Unconquered” by Ioana Moldovan about the Romanian national team building tight friendships as they prepared to physically and mentally to compete.
Boxer Derry Matthews tells The Guardian why he started a boxing class for people with disabilities and why he wants it to catch on worldwide. The initiative was born out of a social media friendship. Read more
Former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand delivered a moving speech at his graduation in May despite his keynote invitation being rescinded just a few weeks earlier. LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a football game against Army in 2010, took to Twitter to express frustration after being uninvited to speak at graduation. Rutgers officials insisted it was a matter of miscommunication– LeGrand would still be able to make a speech but former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean was the official keynote speaker.
Meanwhile, Kean said he’d donate his speaking fee to create a scholarship fund for LeGrand. Read more.
Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal apologized to a Detroit man with a rare disorder after making fun of the man on Instagram. O’Neal tweeted Tuesday that he had “made a new friend” after calling Jahmel Binion to apologize for mocking the man’s selfie. Binion, who has ectodermal dysplasia which causes a reduced ability to sweat, missing teeth and abnormal hair growth, started an anti-bullying Facebook group, Hug Don’t Judge, after O’Neal’s original post. Read more.
Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks and first legally deaf player on the NFL, surprised a couple of his biggest fans with tickets to the Super Bowl. Coleman surprised nine-year-old twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik while the girls were taping a segment for Good Morning America. The girls, who are also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter that went viral expressing their admiration of his accomplishments despite having a disability. Read more.
Ten former NHL players have filed suit against the hockey league for allegedly failing to protect players from concussions. The lawsuit seeks damages to be awarded at trial and court-appointed medical monitoring for any brain trauma or injuries. Read more.