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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Staff Editorial

Former UH athlete makes Coogs proud

Carl Lewis had no choice but to be diligent as a jumper and a sprinter. It takes commitment to become a nine-time Olympic gold medalist.

Lewis, a former UH athlete, is showing that resilient spirit once again. But instead of competing on the track, he will be racing on the campaign trail. He is seeking election to the state Senate in his home state of New Jersey.

Lewis originally announced his candidacy in April, but was met with legal red tape from his opposition because his New Jersey residency was questioned. He was ruled ineligible for office, but after a lengthy court battle a 2-1 decision by the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he be reinstated on the ballot.

“I’m not running for state Senate because I wanted to become a politician,” Lewis said to the Associated Press after the verdict. “I’m running because I want to serve.”

When celebrities run for office and win, it can be a success or a disaster. Nonetheless, the self-confidence Lewis has displayed should be enough to make any Cougar proud.

He refused to let a distraction ruin his political aspirations. Lewis has shown that he believes he can succeed — a necessary trait when entering a competitive field like politics.

Plenty of questions linger. It is uncertain if he is qualified for such an important position, if he understands how public policy works and if he is prepared to be a decision-maker in these complex times. All of these issues remain to be seen.

However, what we do know is that he is an eloquent public speaker, active in several communities across the country and that he isn’t timid about having an unpopular opinion. Forgive him if you don’t think he is the best singer of the US national anthem.

Lewis was once an ambitious student-athlete at this University. What can be learned from this story is that some dreams are worth chasing regardless of the challenges along the way.

If you feel something greater is calling you, then do not sell yourself short — believing in your own capabilities pays off.

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