Dan Wheldon: June 22, 1978 - October 16, 2011
Indy 500 Winner, not just once, but twice, without a chance to win a third.
And as I sit here and try to think of the appropriate thing to write, it's difficult.
I don't know if there are the right words that are deserving of a champion like Dan Wheldon.
To many, he will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, and friend.
Before I chose to write this, I'll be honest, I didn't know a lot about the sport of racing or those involved, so I won't act like I do now.
But one thing I do understand is competition, determination, and winning.
The Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame selected Wheldon as its winner of the 2012 Sportsmanship award.
This award recognizes racers who have gone above and beyond to project a positive image, cooperate with the media, make the sport better, and help others.
The award speaks for itself when it honors a man like Dan Wheldon.
As a sports reporter, death is not something you expect to encounter at a sporting event.
But tragedies do happen.
In the case of Dan Wheldon, we can not just remember his life this Sunday as we watch the 2012 Indy 500, we can also celebrate it.
And in doing so, we can pause to think about all of whom have lost their lives simply doing what they love to do.