An Essay About Sandra Schmirler

794 words - 3 pages

Sandra SchmirlerSometimes in sports, athletes are put up on a pedestal because of greatness: the baseball player who can hit, catch, run or pitch with stunning grace; the hockey player who can skate with electrifying ease; the basketball player who can leap with mystifying ability; the football player who can move with endless energy.However, beyond their contributions as athletes, it is their contributions as people that make these individuals great. When we think of Sandra Marie Schmirler, we are impressed not only with what she did in her pursuit of athletic excellence and how she defined herself as a winner, but what she contributed to others beyond just winning world championships and gold medals. Sandra Schmirler helped us understand that life is precious and we must appreciate it every day because it can be taken away in an instant. While Sandra only lived to the age of 36, she understood that we must place value on more than just winning and losing; we must prioritize the very simple things that are near and dear to us all, in particular family and friends.Sandra loved her family -- her husband Shannon, her daughters Sara and Jenna, her mother Shirley, her sisters Beverly and Carol, her uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews -- and her many friends, not the least of whom were her teammates and soul mates - Jan Betker, Joan McCusker and Marcia Gudereit. Together, Sandra, Jan, Joan and Marcia meshed together as the greatest team in the history of women's curling, but it was Sandra, more than the others, who was in the spotlight, and she used that spectrum wisely and carefully.Sandra came from a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada called Biggar and, as she escalated to greatness, highlighted by skipping her team to the first-ever gold medal in the Olympics, Sandra maintained her focus, never forgetting who she was and from where she had come. Moreover, she considered her greatest accomplishment giving birth to two lovely and healthy girls. Tragically, as we all know, she never had a chance to spend as much time as she wanted with them or her husband, whom she loved dearly.When our generation thinks of Sandra Schmirler, we will recall that joyous moment she celebrated athletic magnificence with her teammates in Nagano, Japan on that historic day in February, 1998. But, we will also recall the...

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