News / USA

Journalist Overcomes Cancer to Realize Dream

Tala Hadavi

Landing a job as a sports journalist is extremely competitive in the United States. It is often perceived as a glamorous life - just hanging out with, and interviewing, athletes and coaches. But for one sports journalist - who has spent more than 10 years working in the field - it is less about the glamorous life than about just being able to do what he loves.

Sports lovers follow their teams intensely, and dream of meeting their favorite players. For most it remains only a dream. But Iranian American Arash Markazi, 31, has fulfilled his dream, working as a sports writer for the prestigious sports television network, ESPN.

"I love writing. I always loved to write. And when I was younger I loved to play sports too and then obviously at a certain point of time I realized I wasn't going to be much taller than 5'6" (1.7 meters). And then I realized I wasn't going to play sports, I could write about sports," said Markazi.

But the road has been bumpy for Markazi. More than 10 years ago, while working for his college newspaper, he was given the worst news possible.

"I had done a story about a basketball player that had Hodgkin's. I didn't even know what it was. I had to do research. The parents were crying and I said, 'this is exactly why I got into sports journalism so I wouldn't have to cover stories like this.' I didn't want to talk about kids getting cancer or anything like that. And then lo and behold, like a year later I get the same kind of cancer," Markazi recalled.

Cancer did not deter him. After a strong recovery, Markazi landed his dream job with Sports Illustrated magazine in New York City. Then, his cancer came back. He spent his recovery time making plans.

"When I was in the hospital I made a list of the games I wanted to go to and the events that I wanted to cover because I couldn't just think about my current situation," Markazi added.

And he did just that. Now, he has checked off all the events on his list. When he is not traveling the world, he covers the local teams in Los Angeles. But at this point in his career and after recovering from cancer twice, he looks at his job from a different perspective.

"I remember when I was younger I would cry when my team lost. But now, it really doesn't matter to me who wins the game. I just want a good story. When I'm at a game I'm rooting for the guy who never played to get in the game and to write about him," Markazi explained.

As much as Markazi enjoys his job and the friends he has made, cancer has put things in perspective for him. After two grueling recoveries, he says he lives with a constant reminder of how precious life is.

"It made me appreciate life a lot more. I think the one thing when people meet me, they say 'You are really happy. Why are you always so happy?' And I say, 'Because I woke up this morning. And I'm living and I'm breathing and I'm talking to you right now.' It's odd for someone in their 20s to be happy because they woke up in the morning and they're alive," Markazi said.

Being courageous enough to pursue a passion, strong enough to fight cancer twice, and just happy about breathing may be odd for a man so young. But Arash Markazi's humble outlook on life and contagious smile are exactly what has helped him overcome life's challenges.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs