Dilemmas, Choices and Heroism

Israeli Delegation to the 1972 Munich Olympic Games - Opening Ceremonies

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This page honors those who truly inspire us.  From time to time we will post links and stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Olympic Choices came about to recognize those who inspired me and I in turn set out to fulfill a promise I made many years ago that their story would never be forgotten.

After two years we have finally brought this page live.

Who are your heroes?  

Email us at heroes@wecannotforget.com


March 13th, 2014


When I wrote the story "They're all gone" for an HBO documentary I set out to share the tragic events at the 1972 Munich Olympic games, the deaths of the eleven Israeli Olympians and the profound effect this had on me.  I had made a promise as a boy to remember, that I would never let their story be forgotten.

Two years ago I realized that this story was being lost to history and I set out to fulfill that promise I made four decades earlier.   I created the educational initiative Olympic Choices to address the following challenge - when we are faced with real life dilemmas every day, how do we know to make the right choices?

Almost two years and 4,000 participants later Olympic Choices is growing.  The next logical outcome was to acknowledge those who inspire us.  There will be no trophy, parade or honorariums.  Our goal is simple: we want to help illuminate the path that each one of us can choose and that each of us has the ability to stand and make a difference. One person can make a difference, one young man did.

Today after a year of planning we announce the first nominee to our Wall of Heroes, Blaine High School (Blaine, MN) sophomore Malik Stewart.  

On the mat Malik wrestles at 120lbs but in life we learned he wrestles like a true heavyweight.  

Wrestling figured prominently in the lives of several of the Munich 11.  The connection Malik shares with them makes it fitting that Malik is our very first nominee.

2nd place in the State Tournament is an amazing accomplishment.  More importantly what you showed all of us after the match was over is worthy of first place in life.  

Malik you inspire us.

Zaq Harrison, Founder
Olympic Choices


You can read Malik's story here:



Minnesota wrestler who lost state title hugs opponent’s dying dad

Instead of getting upset when he lost the 120-pound title match in the Class 3A tournament, Blaine High School sophomore Malik Stewart went over to his opponent’s dad — who is dying of cancer — and gave him a hug.



Malik Stewart losses the Minnesota state title to Mitchell McKee but wins over the crowd.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota high school wrestler won over the crowd with a hug that came away from the mat — and after a loss.

Instead of getting upset when he lost the 120-pound title match in the Class 3A tournament, Blaine High School sophomore Malik Stewart went over to his opponent’s dad — who is dying of cancer — and gave him a hug. The crowd at the Xcel Energy Center loved it.

“He won,” Stewart said of opponent Mitchell McKee. “He was pretty proud, and his dad was pretty proud. So I went over there and I shook his hand, embraced him a little bit, and told him to stay strong and everybody loves him.”

“I got a little teary because I lost the match, and I knew the hard times he was going through,” Stewart added. “The crowd went wild and I heard a couple people say after I did it - that was pretty classy - but I just did it straight from the heart.”

Stewart lost his own father to a heart attack when he was just 7 years old. He said he was just doing the right thing.

McKee, a St. Michael Albertville High School sophomore, told KARE-TV that he wanted to win the tournament for his father, who has just months to live. He pinned Stewart around 1:22 into the face-off in the match earlier this month.

(Watch video of the story http://bcove.me/8tknnbc1)

“It was a big match for him and to be able to hug my dad like that and not be mad and storm off like a lot of kids do,” said McKee. “Really respectful.”

When it was McKee’s turn to hug his dad, people in the crowd cried, stood and clapped.

Josh Prokosch, Blaine’s head wrestling coach, said Stewart took it upon himself to congratulate McKee’s dad.

“You see kids, they lose and throw their headgear, they sit and pout, first thoughts through his mind, are to congratulate Mitchell, congratulate the coach and shake the dad’s hand so that was fantastic,” Prokosch said. “For a sophomore in high school he can see a lot of the big picture which is pretty rare nowadays.”

Stewart said he knows he will face McKee again, and is focused on his goal of winning two state titles.

“When you go out there, you want to win, but if you don’t win, you have got to be a good sport and you be polite. That’s the biggest part,” Stewart said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hs-wrestler-hugs-opponent-dying-dad-loss-article-1.1718088#ixzz2voo9yyeH