In America today, with hate spewing from every corner of social media, it seems as though selfless acts are becoming more rare. But that's not so.
Although we'd like to see more of them, selfless acts happen every day. They just don't make headlines that much because America is currently gripped with a 24-hour-a-day media obsession with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Yet we can learn a lesson from one headline, an Associated Press story on ESPN.com titled, "'Selfless acts' help U.S. win relay silver at luge worlds."
Yes, our own USA Luge team is the poster child for good deeds, and it's not surprising. These sliders are some of the most down-to-earth, hardest-working and friendliest souls we know, and we're proud to say they are based in Lake Placid.
The U.S. team was in Igls, Austria this past weekend competing in the World Championships. After Erin Hamlin, of Remsen, won a gold medal in the sprint race and a silver in the singles race, she was poised to race in the team relay with male teammate Taylor Morris - a 25-year-old from South Jordan, Utah -and the doubles pair of Justin Krewson - a 20-year-old from Eastport, New York -and Andrew Sherk - a 24-year-old from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.
USA Luge sliders who have the fastest runs over the course of a weekend are chosen for the relay team.?Yet Morris, Krewson and Sherk gave up their spots so teammates with more experience - and a better chance of winning a medal - could compete.
Morris yielded to Tucker West while Krewson and Sherk handed over the sled to Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman.
The end result? A silver medal for Team USA.
"That was one of the most selfless acts I've ever seen in my life," Terdiman told the AP before the team left Austria to head to Germany for a World Cup race this weekend. "I said to the guys multiple times ... that I don't think I'll ever be able to thank them for the opportunity."
Mortensen was humbled as well.
"Without those guys making those honorable decisions, we would not have been able to come together as a team and do what we did," Mortensen said. "How it played out, with our fellow athletes giving us these runs and then getting a medal, brings the team together. They made decisions they thought were best for the team, and then for it to work out ... I'm very grateful for what they did."
What these U.S. lugers did was show the world the essence of what it is to be an American - an American who is generous and kind, an American willing to lend a hand to someone who needs it, an American who opens his home to strangers and refugees, an American who loves people from around the world no matter their gender, age, skin color, social status or religion.
They also showed us good sportsmanship.
Thank you, Taylor Morris, Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk for being role models at a time when we need them the most. Your actions speak louder than words.
As the world sees an "America first" American in the news every day - as the federal government limits immigration, promises the construction of a wall on the southern U.S. border, and retreats from global free trade agreements -?it's comforting to know the world is also seeing selfless acts from Americans.
Keep up the good work, USA Luge.