brittany bowe, erin jackson, us speedskating

U.S. speedskater Brittany Bowe.

Brittany Bowe, 33, couldn’t bear to go to the Beijing Winter Olympics without her “skatesister” Erin Jackson, 29, so she did one of the most generous things an athlete could ever imagine. She gave up her spot in the Olympics and gave it to her.

Jackson had an unfortunate bumble in the U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Trials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday in the 500-meter race. The misstep caused her to drop to third place on Team USA behind Bowe and second-place finisher Kimi Goetz.

Before the slip, Jackson was the No. 1 ranked skater in the event.


Only two U.S. women are guaranteed Olympic berths. Although there is a small chance that a third spot could be reallocated from another nation.

Bowe, who already qualified for the Olympics in the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter thought Jackson deserved the spot more than she, so she relinquished it to her teammate.

“I didn’t want to have this moment without Erin out there,” Bowe said according to HuffPost. “I called her late this morning and said that I wanted to officially give her her spot. In my heart, there was never a question.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” Bowe told NBC Sports. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that she wouldn’t do the same thing for me.”

Jackson was moved by the selfless gesture. “I’m just incredibly grateful. Really humbled,” she said. Before she was given a spot on the team she was distraught over the misstep. “I couldn’t turn my brain off,” Jackson said. “It’s been really stressful, being in limbo for so long and just disappointed because I was really excited to show a good race.”

The Beijing Olympics will be the third for Bowe and second for Jackson, who became the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic long track speed skating team.

The two skaters are both from Ocala, Florida, and have forged a close bond over the years. They both started inline skating alongside three-time Olympian Joey Mantia.

“We have a photo of Erin standing between myself and Joey,” Bowe said, “and she comes up to maybe our chest. We go back very far.”

Bowe believes that her display of generosity is what the games are all about. “This is bigger than just me. This is the Olympic Games and it’s about Team USA and giving everybody the opportunity to showcase what they got,” she said.

Ultimately, Jackson hopes that this saga will end with the two of them winning medals together.

“I was kind of given this gift from a very close friend of mine,” Jackson said according to USA Today. “And it would be awesome for both of us to be able to stand on the top of the podium in our races and just kind of share that moment.”

The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place from February 4 to 20 in Beijing and venues near Yanqing and Chongli in the People's Republic of China.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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