Who are Suzie Dorner, Trimaine Davis and James Martin? Amanda Gorman's Super Bowl poem lauds honorary captains

Gorman recited her poem in a pre-recorded message, saying, 'Let us walk with these warriors, charge on with these champions, and carry forth the call of our captains'


                            Who are Suzie Dorner, Trimaine Davis and James Martin? Amanda Gorman's Super Bowl poem lauds honorary captains
Left: Honorary Super Bowl captains, nurse Suzie Dorner, educator Trimaine Davis and veteran James Martin. Right: Amanda Gorman (Getty Images)

Amanda Gorman has once again moved American audiences through her poem that aired during Super Bowl LV. The poem was especially moving because it was dedicated to three individuals who were named as honorary captains for their contributions during the pandemic - educator Trimaine Davis, nurse manager Suzie Dorner, and Marine veteran James Martin. In a pre-recorded video, Gorman recites her poem, saying, "Let us walk with these warriors, charge on with these champions, and carry forth the call of our captains. We celebrate them by acting with courage and compassion, by doing what is right and just. For while we honor them today, it is they who every day honor us."

Dorner, Davis, and Martin appeared on the field at the Super Bowl for the coin toss prior to the kickoff. Dorner did the honors for the coin toss, which was won by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Kansas City 31-9.

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Who is Trimaine Davis?

Justin Williams #2 of the Wyoming Cowboys battles for position with Trimaine Davis #20 and Mohamed Abukar #34 of the San Diego State University Aztecs in the championship of the Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament on March 11, 2006, at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado (Getty Images).

Trimaine Davis is an alum of the San Diego State University, having earned a degree in 2006 in African American Studies. He was a retention coordinator for the VIP Scholars at UCLA, played basketball from 2003 to 2006 for the Aztecs, and was a team captain on the 2005-06 squad. According to NBC, Davis was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He was also a founding member of the Student African American brotherhood at the San Diego State University. At Cal State Northridge, he helped start the Black Male initiative. Gorman said of Davis in her poem, "Trimaine is an educator who works nonstop /  Providing his community with hotspots / Laptops, and tech workshops / So his students have all the tools / They need to succeed in life and in school."

Who is James Martin?

Former Marine Staff Sgt. James Martin. (Wounded Warrior Project)

James Martin is a former Marine Staff Sergeant and veterans advocate in Pittsburgh. During the pandemic, he helped set up live-streams for Aliquippa High School athletics so that parents and friends could watch the sporting events during the year. Martin told CBS, "We all need connection. If there’s anything this pandemic has shown, it’s that everybody needs the interaction, they need their friends, they need their family, they need their restaurants and that’s understood, but when we can’t have them, there’s always another way.”

Gorman wrote of Martin in her poem, "James has felt the wounds of warfare / But this warrior still shares / His home with at-risk kids / During Covid, he's even lent a hand / Live-streaming football for family and fans."

Who is Suzie Dorner?

Suzie Dorner (Getty Images)

Suzie Dorner is a graduate of Revere High School in Richfield and is a COVID ICU Nurse Manager at Tampa General Hospital. At Revere, she played on the girls' soccer team. Dorner received her invitation from Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks. Dorner has worked at Tampa General Hospital for just over eight years but only stepped into the managerial position just three months before the pandemic hit. 

In November, Dorner was featured in a video by the Tampa General Hospital which showed what healthcare workers have been dealing with during the pandemic. In it, she describes the physical and emotional toll the pandemic has taken on the staff, saying, "We've seen a lot of patients pass away. I’m not just talking about older population. We’ve seen a lot of young patients pass away as well.”

Gorman wrote of Dorner in her poem, "Suzie is the ICU nurse manager at a Tampa Hospital / Her chronicles prove that even in tragedy, hope is possible / She lost her grandmothers to the pandemic / And fights to save other lives in the ICU battle zone / Defining the frontline heroes risking their lives for our own."

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