Introducing the Sports Stories Mother's Day Zine
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Last year, before Father’s Day, we made a zine called Dads.
This year, before Mother’s Day, we’ve made a zine called Moms.
Moms features stories about famous sports moms and their famous sports kids. We think Moms would make a great gift for any and all sports fans in your life — including people who are moms, who have moms, or who appreciate moms.
There’s an excerpt below.
Fang Fengdi did not allow her son to stoop. No matter how tall he got, no matter what looks people gave him, no matter how uncomfortable he felt walking down the street. “Straighten your back,” she would say. “Be proud of your height.”
Fang was tall too—6’2. She had been the captain of the Chinese national women’s team, a center. Off the court, she was unassuming. Yao thought of his mom as somebody who was observant, always thinking one move ahead. On the court, she was fearless. One of Yao’s coaches who watched her play told him that his mother was “like a tiger.” Her son was not like a tiger. In fact, Fang didn’t really think he had it in him. “You’re too soft,” she would tell him. Throw more elbows.
Yao didn’t throw too many elbows. But he didn’t stoop, either. He kept growing and he kept playing ball. His father had been a basketball player too. “Basketball wasn’t something my parents played because they loved it,” Yao said. “They played because that’s what they were asked to do by the government.” But Yao did love it. He loved everything about it.
Fang was his best coach. She was there after games to tell him what he did right and what he did wrong. She was there when he moved to America, helping him buy a house and settle in Houston. She was worried about him at first.
“I thought he’d fall apart in the face of such a physical game and all his bones would be crushed”
But of course, she never would have let that happen.
Thanks for reading Sports Stories.