Advertising executive Earl Cole is heading home with a bang. However, it isn’t just the fact that he won the latest season of Survivor, but the way that he prevailed which impressed his peers. Throughout the competition, he maintained a reputation for integrity, guts, skill, and just the right amount of smarts. His alliance with fellow contestant Yau-Man Chan strongly endured in a remarkable display of honorable partnership right up to the final four, proving that shady and underhanded backstabbing didn’t always have to be a necessity for coming out on top. At the very end, the other contenders affirmed the mettle and respect he’d worked hard to earn – he was unanimously voted by the jury to become the series’ 14th Sole Survivor, and the winner of one million dollars.
It is arguably a hell of a feat, especially considering that he suffered from Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, a degenerative disease affecting his left hip. He is also lauded as the first African-American male to win the competition. Cole is coming home to a heroes’ welcome, as he gets set to party hard with his hometown community in a ‘Day of Celebration’ at the Kansas Speedway. Not only is the event to celebrate his victory, but also to bring attention to the charitable organization he runs, the Earl Cole Fund for Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. He hopes to garner support for fellow sufferers of the illness, of which he has already been treated and healed at the University of Kansas Hospital.
Aside from getting to rub shoulders with Cole himself in a meet-and-greet autograph session, people who come will enjoy festive performances by a gymnastics troupe, the local high school band, and even a youth jazz group. Even clowns will be set to entertain younger audiences, along with other variety shows for everyone’s enjoyment. While Cole has proven himself to be one of the most deserving and admirable Survivors so far, one can only hope that his success and fame continue to grow into something that truly benefits others, as he claims is his intent.