U.S. President Barack Obama recently celebrated two of Boston’s oldest and most cherished sporting traditions: its annual marathon and its eight-time World Series champion baseball team.
During a White House ceremony honoring the Boston Red Sox, President Obama credited the team with helping heal and unify a city scarred from last year’s deadly Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
“Sometimes, sports seems like it’s trivial, it’s just an entertainment,” said the President. “And then, every once in a while, you’re reminded that sports represents something else and it has the power to bring people together like almost nothing can.”
The Boston Marathon and the Boston Red Sox have brought people together for more than 100 years. The marathon was first run in 1897, and the baseball team began playing games four years later, in 1901.
President Obama said in winning the 2013 World Series title, the Red Sox played an essential role in renewing the spirit of Boston, and that spirit will be on full display April 21st: “The world will return to Boston and run harder than ever and cheer louder than ever for the 118th Boston Marathon.”
The Boston Marathon is run annually on the Patriots’ Day holiday in Massachusetts, and as part of the festivities, the Red Sox traditionally play a home game at Fenway Park.
When the Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles April 21st, there will surely be loud cheers at Fenway Park, as well as on Boylston Street, where thousands of runners from all over the world will cross the finish line for what promises to be a very emotional 118th running of the Boston Marathon.