Saturday, May 18, 2013

Man Dies Trying to Dribble Soccer Ball to World Cup in Brazil

Richard Swanson planned to walk from Seattle to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for next year’s World Cup. (Bill Wagner)Do you have a bucket list? What have you dreamed of doing that other people might think is utter nonsense? Richard Swanson, a 42-year old man from Seattle, Washington decided that he was going to try and live out one of his dreams. He wanted to go to the World Cup. Like many Americans, Swanson had been recently laid off work. He did not have a steady stream of income, but he would not let this stop him.Swanson decided to walk and dribble a soccer ball at his feet from Seattle to Sao Paulo, Brazil. His goal was to make it in time for next year’s international soccer tournament. Described as an "avid runner, soccer player, and all-around lover of the Pacific Northwest," Swanson planned to visit 11 countries during his one-year-plus trip south. Along the way, he would dribble an "indestructible" soccer ball to promote the One World Futbol Project, a charity that donates these balls to people in disadvantaged communities."All these pieces just started to come together in a way that — it almost felt that, it felt natural, it felt that I was doing what I should be doing, that this was my next leg in my life," Swanson said in a YouTube video before he started the trek.Swanson was collecting monetary donations and asking people for places to sleep and food to eat as he journeyed south. He documented his journey with YouTube videos, Facebook posts and a website that he maintained, which included a map that tracked his travels via GPS.Tragically, Swanson's journey ended prematurely Tuesday morning when he was mowed down by a pickup truck south of Lincoln City, Oregon. This was only two weeks and a few hundred miles into his journey. The public was informed of the accident via Swanson's Facebook.“It is with a heavy heart to notify you that Richard Swanson passed on this morning,” someone posted on Swanson's “Breakaway Brazil” Facebook. “His team, family, friends, and loved ones will miss him and love him dearly. You made it to Brazil in our hearts, Richard. Team Richard.”Outpourings of support and prayers filled the Facebook page. Among those who wrote, were the two sons, 18 and 22, Swanson leaves behind.“We love you dad..with all our hearts!” Devin Swanson wrote. “You are a inspiration to all to continue doing what you love! One day..I will continue your journey in your name!”Even though Swanson never made it to Brazil or saw a World Cup game in person, I do not believe he would wanted to go any other way. If you watch Swanson's YouTube videos, it is plain to see that he believed this is what he was supposed to do. Swanson passed way trying to accomplish what he dreamed of doing. This is his message to us. Do not let your dreams just be dreams. You can pursue them and seek to bring them to fruition.

Man Dies Trying to Dribble Soccer Ball to World Cup in Brazil Images

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