A youth swimmer in Fla. makes a beautiful sacrifice. I start an exciting new writing venture. And “O Holy Night,” sung beautifully

Josh-Zuchowski-jpg

Couple housekeeping notes before I get to Good News Friday: First, sorry about the late post today; we had the wife’s firm’s holiday party Thursday night, and, yeah, it went kind of late. Always a good time. Second, posting will be sporadic next week; we’re going on vacation for a few days so I won’t be posting between Tuesday-Thursday. OK, on with the show…

You know I love stories like this, and the fact that it comes from swimming doesn’t surprise me at all; of all the sports I covered when I was a journalist, swimming people always seemed the most genuine and interesting to talk to.

This story from Florida will warm your heart; a 9-year-old named Joshua Zuchowski is a member of the Jupiter Dragons club swim team, and on Dec. 7 he was competing at the Santa Claus & Holiday Spring Invitational in West Palm Beach (I know, that’s just about the worst name for a event, right?)

Anyway, Josh (that’s him, above) won first place at the meet, but he gave his trophy to his pal Reese Branzell, a rival swimmer who has been really sick with a bone infection and hasn’t been able to swim for a while.

“I talked about it with my parents, and they’re teaching me to be a good sport. So I’m just trying to do what they taught me,” Josh said.

Sounds like his parents are doing a hell of a good job raising him.

**Next up, I’m happy to announce that I’ve started writing for a cool new website that I think has a lot of potential. It’s called ThriveSports.com, and the idea behind it is to write about inspirational athletes from the amateur world of sports, be it Olympians, 6-year-old gymnasts, or anyone else who inspires and performs in a way that brings sports beyond just wins and losses.

My old roommate as a college intern at The Tennessean in Nashville, Sean Jensen, is the executive editor of the site (It’s been so long that I can’t remember if he was a good roommate and cleaned up after himself, but I do know he’s a darn good journalist), and my first story should be up on the site sometime today. It’s about an autistic high school basketball player in California named Emmanuel Bautista, who made the shot of his life in a recent game.

Please take a look around and let me know what you think.

**Finally today, obviously “O Holy Night” is not a song in my repertoire as  Jewish guy, but I certainly can appreciate beautiful singing. Check out the incredible pipes on 7-year-old Rhema Marvanne, who sings the classic tune beautifully.

The video is a few years old, but I just saw it this week (hat tip to Catherine Pearlman for pointing it to me on Twitter). Rhema is still singing and acting now, too; I have a feeling we’ll be hearing about her for a long time to come.

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