Photo by: Joe Schneid, Louisville, Kentucky.(Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)Source: Wikimedia Commons
Jockeys in general, and Calvin Borel in particular, are inspirational. While small in stature (Calvin is 5'4", 118 lbs), I think jockeys are among the most courageous competitors in all of sports. According to NPR, Borel, who started riding horses when he was two years old, has raced in over 25,000 races and won more than 4,300. He is over forty years old, and during his career he has broken both legs, both shoulders, both collarbones, a wrist, most his toes and six ribs. His teeth are gone, knocked out in falls. His $3,000 set of replacement teeth are also gone, knocked out in more falls. Some of the fellow jockeys he has come up with have been paralyzed or even killed. I figured being a jockey was dangerous, but I had no idea how dangerous.
Borel has only recently become famous for winning the Kentucky Derby in 2007 and 2009 and then for winning the Kentucky Oaks on May 1, 2009. On May 16, 2009, Borel won the Preakness.
Here is the brief but exceptional audio 2007 NPR interview with Borel which brings out his personality. Also, notice the exceptional photograph of Borel shown above by Andy Lyons, in which a picture is worth a thousand words.