ILION – Central Valley Junior Marek Bush appeared on national television for the second time last week, as he accepted a 2019 Musial Award for outstanding sportsmanship.
The 2018 State Champion wrestler received the honor from the St. Louis Sports Commission on November 23 for an ultimate show of class he made during a wrestling match in January.
During a wrestling tournament, Bush came up against Logan Patterson, a Section III Division I Champion and 2018 state qualifier from Indian River. Patterson was leading the match 5-0 when he twisted his elbow, dislocating it, Bush explained later. With only 30 seconds left on the clock, all Bush had to do to win the match was stand up and pin his injured opponent. But that’s not what Bush did.
Instead, as the match resumed, Bush assumed the starting position, and then didn’t move, letting the time run out and allowing Patterson to claim the win.
“It was sort of automatic,” Bush said of his actions. “It wasn’t really a decision. He was beating me 5-0. It would have been cruel to beat him after injuring him.”
Bush received national attention following the incident with a spot on CBS News that aired Jan. 18.
Then, over the summer, Bush learned that he had been nominated and won a 2019 Musial Award, an honor given to recognize the “year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and the biggest names in sports who embody class and character… The mission of the Musial Awards is to encourage kindness, integrity and civility in sports and society – and to inspire people across the nation to be good sports.”
“It’s a huge honor to me and my family,” Bush said. “It puts a good light on the Mohawk Valley and on Central Valley wrestling.”
Bush and his parents spent a few days in St. Louis, courtesy of the St. Louis Sports Commission, in November, when Bush received the award in a ceremony at the Stifel Theatre.
“It was probably the best time of my life,” he enthused. “They paid our airfare, the hotel was awesome, they gave us a free tour of St. Louis – It was pretty sweet. I’d like to thank the St. Louis Sports Commission for the great hospitality they showed us.”
Among Bush’s fellow honorees were international sports icons Bart Connor and Nadia Comaneci, two Olympic gold medal-winning gymnasts, who both received the Musial’s lifetime achievement award.
CBS aired the Musial Awards as a one-hour special Dec. 21 at 2 p.m., with encore presentations on CBS Sports Network on Dec. 23 and 24.
A clip of Bush’s appearance can be found at https://musialawards.com/videos/marek-bush-interview-2019-musial-awards/ and the story of that January wrestling match can be seen at https://musialawards.com/videos/marek-bush-2019-musial-awards/