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While growing up in a rural fishing village following the Korean War, Choon-Ok Jade Harmon discovered how to fight for survival at an early age. She was the youngest of seven children, and her destitute family faced constant hunger, bitterly cold winters, and an often-abusive father. Despite these obstacles, and her learning disability of dyslexia, she sought the courage to break free from poverty and succeed in the martial arts form of Kuk Sool Won.
Romero began his career as a nine year old in backwoods Louisiana. Determined to branch out to bigger venues, he soon won races at Evangeline Downs, Delta Downs, Churchill Downs, and even Keeneland in Kentucky. He eventually went on to win twenty-five riding titles at ten different racetracks with such notable horses as Wavering Monarch, Rocket’s Magic, Personal Ensign, and Go for Wand.
A fiercely determined athlete, father, and soft-spoken Cajun, Randy Romero is one the greatest riders in Thoroughbred history. Despite enduring twenty-five major surgeries, burning more than sixty percent of his body due to an explosion, suffering physical abuse from his father, and self-abuse to meet certain weight requirements, Romero never considered quitting the sport for a second. He survived all of these setbacks to pursue his goals in racing, eventually retiring with an astonishing record of more than four thousand victories. In his fifties and undergoing dialysis, the jockey is a living legend.
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Before the Saints were synonymous with New Orleans, Dave Dixon was gathering support to create a team and build a Superdome to accommodate them. The man affectionately known as the “Father of the Saints” gives an insider’s perspective on the historical events that shaped the New Orleans sports scene.
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