Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No ESPY for Mackey, but maybe a movie?

ACTION! Warner Brothers, Disney are both interested, musher says.

FAIRBANKS -- Usually, the number two is good to champion musher Lance Mackey.

Twice he has won the two biggest races in mushing -- back-to-back -- the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

And Mackey hoped that voters might grant him an ESPY award this year, the second time he's been nominated for the honor.

"It would look great on the trophy shelf, but I'm not counting on it," Mackey said from Las Vegas, where he was preparing to travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony broadcast Sunday on ESPN.

Mackey, who has won the Yukon Quest for the past four years and won both the Quest and the Iditarod in 2007 and 2008, is one of five nominees for the Best Outdoor Athlete award.

And while lucky numbers usually smile on Mackey, it didn't happen this time.

Scott Smiley, an Army captain who climbed Mount Rainier after losing his sight in Iraq, was the winner, chosen through online voting at www.espys.tv.

On his second trip to the ESPY awards, Mackey planned to take more time to relax and enjoy the trip, though he called it his "duty" to meet seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong.

Many people have compared the two Lances over the years. Both beat cancer and returned to their respective sports to become champions.

"I don't think there's much comparison," Mackey said. "He does all the work, while my team does most of the work in my sport."

Mackey also will meet what he described as a "well-known" director next week to discuss the possibility of making a movie about his accomplishments.

"Warner Brothers and Disney both are interested in some sort of movie," he said.

The Fairbanks musher has already begun training for next year's races, and he believes his team is capable of three-peating back-to-back Yukon Quest and Iditarod titles.

Still, he remained humble about his accomplishments.

"I just want to say thanks to the fans who follow the sport," Mackey said. "Without them I'd still be sitting in a small town in Alaska instead of being in L.A. with the big dogs."

Last year, Mackey lost out to Dean Karnazes of San Francisco, who ran 50 marathons -- one in every state -- in 50 days, including the Mayor's Marathon course in Anchorage.

No comments: