J.R. Martinez and Sara Ganim: My 2011 Sportsman & Sportswoman of the Year

Sportswoman of the Year: Sara Ganim

Sara Ganim started reporting on the Penn State scandal long before anyone else. Her journalism efforts weren’t otherworldly; they were just solid and unrelenting.

The story was going to break no matter what. But, she got to it first and didn’t let go. She had Sandusky covered from late March through April to the Fall.

Ganim represents honor and doing one’s job with integrity. Her story is kind of simple, but worthy of more mention. She went on TV talk shows when getting credit from heavyweights like CNN and spoke eloquently of being a crime reporter in the face of horrible crimes and following the story to the just end by including those most affected.


The Penn State story almost eclipses the O.J. story. It is that salacious and that disappointing. It probably beats the Tiger Woods story. Penn State will never be forgotten, like Kent State (now Kent).

The tragedy of Penn State was how this man could get away with his crimes for so long. Sara is in her early twenties. If she was born earlier and had become a crime reporter for the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania paper sooner, maybe Sandusky would have been put away much earlier.

With her reporting the story in the Pennsylvania area, Sara might have saved one more child or two from that monster. It’s impossible to say for sure.

sara-ganimImage source: PennLive.com

Sportsman of the Year: J.R. Martinez

After the war, after the burns and after the scars, there was motivational speaking and some acting to accomplish. Then, came an invitation to a competition.

He made himself a popular culture icon by winning a grueling athletic contest on arguably television’s biggest production, ‘Dancing With The Stars.’


J.R. Martinez did what no one could have predicted.

He survived an IED blast while serving in the Army.

Then, after 30 surgeries later and with his facial disfigurement, he showed more courage.

He showed a national audience what more discipline and desire can do.

He won DWTS and he did it in thrilling fashion.

He proves over and over everyday how important it is to be proud of who you are, no matter what you look like or what anyone might think of you. Again, a simple act in some respects, but one that deserves just a little more recognition.

jr-martinezImage source: EurWeb.com


Who is your Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year? Nominate below.

About Howard M Alperin

Husband, Father, Teacher, Planner, Advisor, Counselor, Social Worker, Businessman, Consultant, Blogger, Author, Entrepreneur, Inventor, YMCA Coach, Marketer, Innovator, Advertiser, Promoter, Court Appointed Special Advocate to children, Volunteer, Runner, Athlete, Spanish Speaker, Non-Sports Card Collector, Dog Agility Enthusiast and OIF Veteran.


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