MAJOR TAYLOR RECOGNIZED FOR SPORTSMANSHIP
Contact: Lynne Tolman
Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, the 1899 world
bicycling champion also known as "the Worcester Whirlwind," has been named a
2003 Sports Ethics Fellow by the Institute
for International Sport. The posthumous recognition comes as part of the
13th annual National Sportsmanship Day on March 4, 2003.
As a black man who had to fight Jim Crow
prejudices just to get on the starting line, Major Taylor faced closed
doors and open hostility throughout his bicycle racing career. He persevered
with dignity to become "The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World," as he
titled his autobiography, and the second black world champion in any sport.
The Major Taylor Association plans to put up a statue of him at the Worcester
The first Tuesday of March each year, thousands
of schools across the United States participate in National Sportsmanship Day,
which promotes appreciation of the critical role of ethics, honesty, peaceful
conflict resolution and fair play in athletics and society. School
programs for the day include "The No Swear Zone," essay and poster
contests, student roundtables, and coaches’ forums. Sports Ethics Fellows are
chosen from various academic and athletic fields for exemplifying ethics and
sportsmanship in their professional and personal endeavors.
Besides Major Taylor, this year’s Sports Ethics
Fellows include bicyclist Lance Armstrong, four-time winner of the Tour de
France; wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll, eight-time winner of the women’s
wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon; track and field star Marion Jones,
three-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion; Michael Josephson,
founder of the Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics; East Greenwich,
R.I., fourth-grade teacher Mary Wright, founder of the "Go FOURTH"
program promoting respect in the classroom; and several others. Profiles of
the Sports Ethics Fellows can be found at www.internationalsport.com/nsd/nsd.cfm,
along with a link for a free downloadable Major Taylor curriculum guide from the
Major Taylor Association.
Upcoming events to honor Major Taylor include an
African-American history lecture, April 27 in Cambridge, Mass.; the Ride to
Remember, June 21 in Matteson, Ill.; the George Street Bike Challenge for
Major Taylor, July 20 in Worcester, Mass.; and the Major Taylor Century,
Sept. 28 in Rutland, Mass. Details are at