The sand-throwing incident that occurred during Saturday’s cross-country race in Cumberland was a shameful act and should be proclaimed as such by racers, coaches, and spectators alike. As a former Edward Little cross-country skier, I am appalled that anyone would even imagine such a vicious act.

I extend an apology to Mohamed Noor on behalf of those who admire his effort and ability.

I recall my own competitive struggles in high school; falling ill during one New England Championship, and then breaking a ski during the same race the following year. Disappointment is part of the game. Proudly I can say that I converted my disappointment into energy and won the State, New England, and Eastern Championships the next year and then went on to win third place in the 1964 National Nordic Combined Championships held at Squaw Valley, California.

But, what I’ve learned about life is that it is not where you finish. It’s entirely about the journey, not the destination. The fact that Mohamed Noor did not achieve the success he hoped to achieve is certainly a disappointment. It means little, however, in comparison to the spirit embodied by his effort, and by the example he gives others to do the same.

In the scheme of things this incident will become an unfortunate milestone. I hope Mohamed will use the event to illustrate how a strong spirit can overcome adversity. After all, that is what America is all about.

William K. Kendall, Auburn

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