Chris Handsor-Denver Dynamite’s Han Solo
Chris Handsor is a legend in the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League) for winning the National Championship three times and been named the 2001 Playoff MVP. In his 300+ career games, Chris has tallied 244 goals and 199 assists. When watching Chris play, it doesn’t take long to understand why his nickname is Hans Solo. He continues to entertain fans of the Denver Dynamite. Through all of his victories, photo-shoots, and fan emails, he doesn’t get a chance to slow down much. One story he shared with Star Winar was one that forced him to take a time out, and realize the real reason why he is here. Not just because of the game of soccer, but because of the people who watch it.
Chris grew up playing the game, receiving full scholarships to any school of his choice and traveling overseas to play professional soccer in Europe; so signing autographs after a game became part of the daily job. As he reflects, “After one particular home game I noticed a little girl with a big smile on her face waiting patiently for an autograph. She sat there so cute and quiet waiting for me to approach her,” Chris said. As he approached her he noticed she had a disability. He visited with them for a while, and after hearing her story, he looked forward to seeing her at the next game. It became regular for them to catch up after each home game, and they became friends that would stay in touch while he was on the road.
They were always just a phone call away. Chris tells us of the shocking phone call he received one day, “I got the phone call that she was being taken to Shiners Children’s hospital for a serious surgery. I remember flying there to be close to her,” Chris said. Her mother gave him a hug and told him one of her two wishes to theThe Make-a-Wish Foundation was to be with Chris. “At that moment I got a sense of purpose as this girl was so close to me and I stayed with her until she left Shiners.I was with her the whole week and I stayed right there with her in her room.” When you spend that much time in a single room you spend a lot of time wondering, ‘why’ or ‘how’ or ‘what if.’”
Everyone sees the glamour involved with professional sports, but athletes battle with the same questions of life when the game is over, including the questions of happiness, love, and purpose. “I have been blessed to be able soccer all over the world. It feels good to give back to the community through the youth programs and fundraising for cancer and other various illnesses and even being asked by that little girl who I am so close to, to take her to her senior prom. “ Chris demonstrated his humility during our interview with him, admitting “Just because my ability with a soccer ball doesn’t mean I have all the answers to life, but I do know when you’re in a hospital room looking out the window; it’s up to you what you choose to see. It’s a choice you have to make.”
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