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Sportsmanship at Sochi, and more

Chest-thumping took second place to sportsmanship at Sochi when a Canadian coach helped a Russian athlete.

Sportsmanship at Sochi
Chest-thumping took second place to sportsmanship at Sochi this week when a Canadian coach helped a Russian athlete save his pride. Anton Gafarov broke a ski during the men’s cross-country free-sprint semifinals. When Canada’s Justin Wadsworth saw the Russian dragging himself forward on a single ski, he jumped in with one of Team Canada’s skis and fitted it onto Gafarov’s boot. Gafarov held his arms high as he finished in last place. “I wanted him to have dignity as he crossed the finish line,” Wadsworth said.

From janitor to school principal
Educator Gabe Sonnier is working at the same school in Port Barre, La., as he did 30 years ago, but he’s in a different office. Now the principal of Port Barre Elementary, Sonnier was once its janitor. In 1985, the then principal encouraged Sonnier to learn to grade papers instead of picking them up. So after the kids put away their textbooks for the evening, Sonnier pulled out his own, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching. He’s now a living example to the kids at the school he heads. “I always tell them it’s not where you start,” he said. “It’s how you finish.”

Dog helps owner detect cancer
At the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, every pooch is precious, but for Diane Papazian of Staten Island, N.Y., one of this year’s competitors is a real lifesaver. Soon after she adopted Doberman pinscher puppy Troy in 2011, he began nuzzling Papazian in the chest. His persistence caused skin irritation, and her scratching led her to discover a lump on her left breast. Aggressive treatment followed, and Papazian, 56, is now cancer-free. Troy, a former best-in-breed runner-up, didn’t place at Westminster this year, likely his last show. “We want to have him home more,” said Papazian.

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