Team Blue Card
Team Blue Card

Runners take on New York City Marathon to help Holocaust survivors

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Of the 50,000 New York City Marathon runners, about 35 will race Sunday wearing blue T-shirts with a Star of David over the left chest and, just below, the words “Aiding Needy Holocaust Survivors.”

The Blue Card is one of 340 official race charities and has been since 2009. In that time, the non-profit has raised more than $1 million for Holocaust survivors in New York City Marathon fundraising and provided more than $30 million overall.

There are more than 100,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., with one-third at or below the poverty line, according to The Blue Card, which serves some 3,000 Holocaust survivor households.

“Although the number of survivors is decreasing,” executive director Masha Pearl said, “the needs are increasing exponentially as survivors are aging.”

The Blue Card was created in 1934 Nazi Germany, to aid Jews already being oppressed. Its name was derived from blue paper cards given to Jewish donors who raised funds for those who lost their jobs.

In 1939, The Blue Card was re-established in the U.S. to aid refugees and survivors.

The Blue Card is present in 32 states and has participated in the New York 5 Borough Bike Tour, New York City Triathlon and marathons in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

No Holocaust survivor has run the New York City Marathon as part of The Blue Card, but some have come out to cheer the runners.

Several runners have been children or grandchildren of survivors. The Bronx’s Sarah Mizrachi, an Albert Einstein College medical student racing Sunday, is the great-granddaughter of a woman who fled from the Holocaust.

New York City Marathon charity runners earn entry into the five-borough race by raising $3,000 or more.

The Blue Card runners will be wearing the shirt designs below.

MORE: Olympic gold medalist’s unconventional route to NYC Marathon

blue-card

USA Track and Field to honor 1968 Olympic team on 50th anniversary

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USA Track and Field begins a campaign this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Olympic team.

Members of the Mexico City Games team, one of the greatest track and field teams in history, will be honored at high-profile events the remainder of the year.

The campaign, “1968-2018: Celebrating Athletic Achievement and Courage,” culminates with a “Night of Legends” reunion in December at the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, also attended by current U.S. stars.

The 1968 Olympic team is most remembered for Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who took gold and bronze in the 200m and were sent home after raising their black-gloved fists in a human rights salute during the national anthem.

The team also included gold medalists Bob Beamon (long jump), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Al Oerter (discus), Wyomia Tyus and Jim Hines (100m), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m.

“The legacy of the greatest track & field team to ever be assembled is still felt 50 years later,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said in a press release. “These Olympians persevered through athletic challenges and social injustices, maintaining their composure and dignity when others may have fallen. It is USATF’s honor to pay homage to their achievements and bring the team together for an epic celebration at our Annual Meeting.”

U.S. track and field athletes will compete at two meets on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Gold this weekend — the Drake Relays and Penn Relays.

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WATCH: NBC Olympics documentary on 1968 Olympics

Paralyzed man walks London Marathon in 36 hours in exoskeleton

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A paralyzed man walked the London Marathon route wearing an exoskeleton suit, finishing around 11 p.m. Monday, nearly 36 hours after he started, according to British media.

Simon Kindleysides was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in April 2013 and was paralyzed from the waist down, he said on the BBC before the race.

“I want to be a role model to my children so they can say their daddy’s been the first paralyzed man to walk the London Marathon ever,” said Kindleysides, a 34-year-old father of three, according to the report.

Kindleysides predicted he would finish in 37 hours, completing the first half of the 26.2-mile race on Sunday, then sleeping a few hours and walking the final 13.1 miles on Monday. Kindleysides said after finishing that he spent 26.5 of those 36 hours walking the marathon.

“Painful, emotional to walk that far in 26.5 hours,” he said. “It feels amazing. So glad I’ve done it. I’m here proving a point, anything is possible.”

Kindleysides said he handcycled from London to Paris for charity two years ago.

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MORE: London Marathon results