I have a new sports hero and it's not a quarterback or a guy batting cleanup. It's not even a guy.
It's a woman who has spent much of her life in a swimsuit but who hasn't been featured in that issue of "Sports Illustrated," nor will she be. She's a 64-year-old with swollen lips and a bad sunburn.
Of course, it's Diana Nyad, who, Monday afternoon, walked out of the water onto the beach of Key West, Fla., and for the first time had felt sand under her feet in the 53 hours it took her to swim the 110 miles from Cuba.
It was her fifth attempt, and the only time it had ever been done without a shark cage for protection. And there are plenty of sharks in that stretch of water and venomous box jelly fish whose sting can be fatal.
So, why wouldn't a swimmer with that kind of extraordinary dedication and stamina have been an Olympian at some point?
Well, at one time a heart infection prevented it and later her continuing battle with asthma. Now is that enough courage to make her a role model for your little girl?
And if you dare say, "But she's a lesbian," look at the swimsuit models and then look at that 64-year-old woman with swollen lips, walking out of the water of the Florida Straits and you decide who's a better role model.
I'm Pat McMahon.