Here is a very heartwarming story to get your weekend started - LINK
A person in Canada by the name of Jonathan Barry posted this on Facebook yesterday.
OK. So I have a story. Some already know it, but it's worthy of sharing to a broader audience. It's somewhat long, but if you stick with it, the payoff is high.
For anyone who watched the Rio Olympics with any sort of regularity, you likely witnessed or heard of the mistake made by Elliotte Friedman during the Mens 200m individual medley. Here is an article that discusses the blunder:
I chose this particular article to try and demonstrate the amount of coverage the blunder got. This newspaper is based in India...let that sink in....INDIA. Friedman was a Canadian calling the race on the CBC, to Canadians, in Canada. And people were writing about it....in INDIA. This went viral, and quick.
As many already know, my 14 year old cousin Daniel passed away suddenly last week. I can't begin to explain how tragic this is and how heartbroken my entire family is.
When I heard the news of Daniel's passing, I looked to see if he had any social media presence. I know he didn't have Facebook but decided to check twitter. Sure enough, he had a twitter account and a few tweets.
Now, what does this have to do with the Olympics? Daniel's last tweet, was as follows:
For those who don't want to click on the link, it read "@FriedgeHNIC Everyone screws up every once in a while."
The story goes that MarthaandTom Pumphrey were watching the Olympics with the boys and Tom informed Daniel that Elliotte would likely get crucified online. Daniel stated that he wished there was a way to send words of encouragement to Elliotte and went on his way, presumably looking for his e-mail or twitter account. Daniel didn't tell Tom or Martha that he had tweeted him.
When I read this tweet just last week, I was extremely proud of my cousin. The global media was ripping Friedman and my 14 year old cousin (normally an age where kids are quite willing to pile on, and be nasty) decided to try to cheer Elliotte up. This says a lot about Daniel. Most of us already knew it about him, but it provided more evidence of his wonderful personality. It also put everything in context. When Elliotte made this mistake, I'm sure he thought it was the worst thing that would ever happen to him. In the context of this post and what happened to Daniel a couple of weeks later it was actually quite insignificant.
I decided to reach out to Elliotte, via twitter, to explain what my sweet cousin had done, and that he was no longer with us. I don't know why, but just felt it was important for him to know. If someone's last tweet was @ me, saying something incredibly kind, I think I'd want to know. Elliotte responded, almost immediately, wanting to know more details. We had some discussion over twitter and he said he wanted to do something for the Funeral. I was impressed he responded to begin with, let alone wanted to send along some kind words.
A few days passed by. Details of the funeral started to emerge. I provided Elliotte the details. The night before the Funeral I received an e-mail from Elliotte, forwarded from one of the producers at Hockey Night in Canada. It was a link to a video message, from Elliotte. I played the video at the funeral, for all in attendance. From the reaction in the room, I could tell most were blown away, but I wanted to share it with my friends and family who could not attend Daniel's funeral. The link is as follows:
I strongly urge you to watch the video. Elliotte Friedman may be my personal hero, at least second to Daniel. Since this interaction with him I've learned he is very involved with various charitable causes, including wearing an autism awareness patch on his suit jacket during the World Cup of Hockey. He also seems to provide visibility to many stories that would likely go untold if not for using his platform. I reached out to on twitter to one of his coworkers, telling him this story and his response was "That's so Elliotte. Elliotte is the best." Indeed he is.
If you've made it this far, the only thing I would like you to do (if you are a twitter user) is send a tweet @FriedgeHNIC thanking him for the wonderful words he shared with the Pumphrey family. I don't think he wants it, or even needs it, but he deserves it.
Feel free to share this with your friends.
I will freely admit I know very little about Elliotte Friedman, but after this I have a newfound level of respect and admiration for the man. God bless.