Olympics Dispatch II: August 19, 2004
Medscape.com Posted 08/19/2004
The buzzer sounds, the announcer speaks, and Gary leaps into the water like a coiled spring coming undone. I am beside myself, screaming "Go Gary" from the second I see him on the pool deck. It feels good to scream. I try to give him energy, and I pray to the Gods of diabetes to give all the people with abnormal glucose metabolism who look up to this man another victory. He streaks to the other side, fast-twitch muscle propelling him seamlessly through the water. He makes no errors, and he wins. He wins the prelims. He beats the South Africans and the Dutch and the Russians and everyone else who was supposed to beat him, and he shows the world he is still Gary Hall, one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Undaunted by diabetes and age and being out of favor with the swimming coaches, he still can swim with the best of them.
Winning the prelims is by no means winning a medal. He still has the semifinals and the finals to go. But regardless of how he does in those events, he has shown that he is still in the game. He had valid cause for showing up at these Olympics, and, who knows, he might win an individual medal after all.
Olympics Dispatch III: Victorious
Medscape Diabetes & Endocrinology 6(2), 2004. © 2004 Medscape