Sports can lift dampened spirits in times of tragedy

Instead of a day of celebration, Patriot Day in Boston turned into a day of terror, fear and mourning on April 15, 2013.

We never want to see or experience that which thousands of Bostonians and visitors had to experience Monday at the finish line of the 117th edition of the Boston Marathon.

Sport, especially the sport of marathon running, is supposed to be a celebration of accomplishment and bring people together as a community. However, sport was used as a platform for terrorism instead of jubilation.

As a sport management student, we are taught to prepare for the worst when it comes to security, but I do not think anything could prepare for a situation in which Boston had to endure Monday.

Though sporting events might be a large target for terrorism, only a few of the hundreds of thousands events have actually been a target.

There are a few notable terrorist events in sport history.

The first terrorist attack in sport came at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, in which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist organization called “Black September.”

The first terrorist attack on an American sporting event took place during a concert at the Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A pipe bomb explosion resulted in two deaths and 111 injuries.

Sporting events are supposed to be an innocent platform for competition and fun— not killing and destructive political statements.

Even though officials have yet to find the suspect or group responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing, the killer obviously meant to hurt as many people as possible. On Monday, 183 people, including nine children, were injured and three people, including an eight-year-old boy, died from injuries in the attack on Boston.

Despite the fact that a sporting event hosted a very unfortunate situation, in times of tragedy, sports have been used as getaways and safe havens for people affected by the event.

This reminds me of the last time a terrorist attack occurred on American soil— Sept. 11, 2001.

Following the terrorist attacks on New York City, sports became insignificant in the big picture, but when the New York Yankees and New York Mets returned to New York City to continue their season, it gave the people of New York a reason to believe and get lost in the moment.

The Yankees and Mets gave people a reason to take that next step in their lives, and I hope to see Boston’s sports teams to do the same.

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 in an afternoon game before the bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox are now in Cleveland for a three-game series with the Indians but will return to Boston on Friday for a 10-game home stand at Fenway Park.

On the ice, the Boston Bruins’ Monday night home game with the Ottawa Senators was cancelled due to the terrorist attack.

The National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics cancelled its Tuesday night, home game with the Indiana Pacers due to the situation.

Both of those teams each made its league’s postseason playoffs.

I hope to see the whole country support the Red Sox through out its season and the Bruins’ and Celtics’ through their postseasons, because I know that Boston’s teams will be playing for the victims, the family and friends, the selfless people who put the victims ahead of themselves, the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America.