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BEST CLASS ACT Minneapolis 2002 - Kelci Stringer

Unless you've been there yourself, it's impossible to fully comprehend the suffering of someone who has lost a spouse. But there was Korey Stringer's wife Kelci, resolutely composed in the family's living room, facing the local media just days after her husband, Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer, died of heat stroke after a practice session in late July. Suddenly her presence loomed as large as Big K's absence. During the interviews and in subsequent memorial services, Kelci's dignity and openness were inspiring. She feels entitled to some answers, and rightly so. But even with a lawsuit against the team looming, she embraced owner Red McCombs in a halftime ceremony honoring Korey. And even as the team tried to link Stringer's death to dietary stimulants, she calmly countered that the autopsy showed no such thing. Some have questioned Kelci's motives in suing the Vikings, but what she had to say back in August is good enough for us. "He's the only person in this world who felt me for the woman I have become," she asserted during the funeral service in Korey's hometown of Warren, Ohio. "Not for the child my mother knew, or the friend that my friends knew, but for the woman that I was."

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