Meghan Vogel: Sportsmanship Personified

Teen Athlete Shows Selfless Act Of Kindness

Meghan Vogel

I have to put out a full disclaimer here - when I read the story of Meghan Vogel and the incredible display of sportsmanship that she displayed, I cried. Then I saw the photos and video, and cried some more. Not because it made me sad, but because what I read about and saw her do gave me hope for human nature.

And for teenagers in general.

I’m just going to be straight out blunt and say it: Teens can be self-centered and selfish. I’d venture to say especially girls here, but as the Mom of a teen girl, that would be putting me in a parental danger zone that I don’t particularly want to be in.

Especially because I’ve already been there three times this week...


One of the hardest things for kids to learn when they first start playing sports is not how far to kick the ball or how fast to run, but how to show good sportsmanship. Nobody likes losing, and kids don’t have an automatic filter that tells them that maybe they shouldn’t cry and stomp their feet when the other team wins. It takes a lot of training and a lot of tears before they finally get it. So then, when your little athlete in training finally does get it, what happens? They’re now a teen and have a new attitude that often loudly declares it's “all about me!” It’s a slippery slope for kids to learn and they don’t always get it.

But seventeen-year-old Meghan Vogel did.

Less than an hour after Meghan ran and won a 1600m race at the Ohio State High School Track Championships, she found that she was having a hard time running the 3200m and was pretty much at the back of the pack. Another runner, Arden McMath, was having an even harder time. Arden had already fallen three times in the grueling race, and then when she was 50 meters from the finish, she fell again. Meghan was coming up behind her and in an instant, instead of running around Arden, stopped and picked Arden up.

She didn’t just offer to help, Meghan grabbed Arden’s arm, put it over her shoulder, and pulled the fallen athlete onto her feet.

Then for 50 meters, the two teen high school rivals ran together as oneMeghan supporting Arden the entire way, making sure she finished the race.

They got to the finish line and Meghan gently pushed Arden ahead of herself and took a step back so that Arden did not come in last.

As the mom of a teen athlete, a girl who has dreams of competing professionally one day and even representing Canada at an international event, I can only hope that if my daughter ever found herself in a similar situation, she would do the same thing that Meghan did. Put sportsmanship ahead of everything else. Because in the brief moment that the two girls were running together towards the finish line, nothing else mattered. Nothing.

This is one of those times when coming in last at something actually makes you a champion.

Photo Credits: James Miller: The Marion Star, Mike Ullery: Piqua Daily Call

Soccer Mom, Golf Widow & Laundry Ninja in search of a quieter potato chipWhen my kids were small, my favourite phrase of theirs was "I love you Mummy" but now that they're teens it's "How did you find that out?"  My personal motto is "Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are" and that's mostly because my dog thinks I'm obviously the Smart Human who knows where the kibble is kept.

You can find me on Twitter at @Laundry_Ninja