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Pat McMahon

One if by sea

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.

About the Author

He's done it all -- and keeps doing it. His career in local Arizona radio and television dates back the late 60s. Pat always stimulates with his thought provoking, opinionated, and entertaining commentaries on the Arizona Morning News while hosting award-winning talkshows like "The McMahon Group" and "The God Show."

"The McMahon Group" features an unpredictable all-star panel where three people from the community get together and give their thoughts on the news of the week. He also hosts "The God Show" on Sunday's where he talks about all aspects of spirituality.

Pat is also well known outside of radio because of his multifaceted career as an actor, producer, recording artist, writer, broadcaster, and one-third of the legendary comedy team that was on TV for 35 years in Arizona, "The Wallace and Ladmo Show."

Through the many experiences of his professional life, Pat has been richly rewarded with 7 Emmys, major national and international radio awards as well as numerous civic, educational, religious and humanitarian awards. Pat was also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Ottawa University, the Arizona Broadcasters Lifetime achievement Award, and has his bronze likeness hanging in the rotunda of the Herberger Theater in recognition of his contributions to Communications & The Arts.


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