Time magazine is without a doubt one of the most respected magazines and one of their more anticipated yearly pieces is non other than their 'Top 100 Most Influential People in the World' list. To make this list is an honor, and for the 2012 version, two of sport's most recent polarizing stories, Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin, that honor became a reality.
Lin and Tebow both captured attention beyond their sport with their amazing play, and essentially important, their off the court message.
For Tebow, his humility in the face of both success and adversity has endeared him to fans across the world. His soft spoken yet fervent dedication to his faith and beliefs combined with his improbable success created the perfect storm for him to quietly open the eyes of many to the fact that one can be a sports star and still live life the moral way.
In Time magazines article about Tebow for this honor, Jeremy Lin wrote the following.
"Watching Tim Tebow play football, you can observe many things about his character. You see his fierce competitiveness, his strong work ethic and how he is a leader that his teammates trust and respect," Lin wrote.
"But it is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart. He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out. Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope. He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that."
Lin himself proved to be, if not the equal of Tebow in regards of success, just as close when it came to unexpected stardom.
A Harvard graduate and a NBA journeyman, Lin went from being the last option on the New York Knicks bench to being their leading man during an unbelievable stretch that revitalized the fading team and it's fans.
With his success as a Knicks starter, averaging 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game, Lin showed the world that Asian-American basketball players can succeed in today's game. Though his season was sidelined by a knee injury, the legacy of Lin still goes strong and is sure to ramp back up at the outset of next season.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrote about why Lin was selected.
"Jeremy Lin's story is a great lesson for kids everywhere because it debunks and defangs so many of the prejudices and stereotypes that unfairly hold children back. He's dispelled the idea that Asian-American guards somehow couldn't hack it in the NBA — and that being a world-class athlete on the court is somehow at odds with being an excellent student off the court.
"Contrary to what you might read, Jeremy, 23, is no overnight sensation. In fact, he achieved success the old-fashioned way: He earned it. He worked hard and stayed humble. He lives the right way; he plays the right way.
"It's great to see good values rewarded in professional sports because that's not always the case. Often it's the bling, the glam, the individual that gets celebrated — not the team and working together to advance a goal bigger than oneself. Jeremy cares only about one thing — winning. And I don't care whether you are an Asian-American kid, white, black or Hispanic, Jeremy's story tells you that if you show grit, discipline and integrity, you too can get an opportunity to overcome the odds."
Tebow and Lin were two of six athletes that made the list. The four others were Novak Djokovic, Yani Tseng, Lionel Messi and Oscar Pistorius.
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