The American sports world was rocked on Monday, April 15, when two explosions shook the final stretch of the Boston Marathon. Unlike in years past, enduring images from this event will not be men’s winner Leslisa Desisa outpacing Micah Kogo, or women’s champ Rita Jeptoo crossing the line in 2:26:25. Those last meters in the finishing chute, where the air is normally charged with cheering, clapping and shouts of encouragement, instead will be remembered for the explosions, the screams, and the terror.
Sports Illustrated front covers honor athletes with amazing talents, breakthrough seasons, or inspirational come-from-behind stories. This week it chose to run an image of a fallen runner, surrounded by Boston first responders. 78-year-old runner Bill Iffrig was knocked down just 15 feet from the finish line. Though scrapped up and shaken, he got up and finished the race.
At a time when sports news and hard news meet, Sports Illustrated handled it brilliantly.