Aug. 22, 2008

... and sometimes those who inspire us do win medals!

The men's 10k open water swimming event took place yesterday. 7 1/2 years after his diagnosis with ALL (Acute Lymfatic Leukemia), Maarten van der Weijden took home the gold medal. After his race, he said: "When you're lying in hospital, being tired and in a lot of pain, you're not thinking about next week. You're thinking about the next hour. You're getting patient, lying in your bed, just waiting. It's the same with the race strategy today: being patient, staying calm and .waiting for your chance to come."

On his webste, he's being introduced as world champion and cancer survivor- now he'll be able to add Olympic Champion. He'll hopefully continue to spend a large amount of time raising awareness to leukemia and telling his story.

But that wasn't the only story being told in this race. Thomas Lurz of Germany finished third. He didn't cry because he wanted to win gold or because he got into a struggle with the Brit and thus lost a few seconds . He cried because he was thinking about his dad Peter (German coordinator of long-distance swimming) who died of a heart attack during a cycling tour last year. Thank you for an exciting race and showing us that some things are more important than winning.

1 comment:

Steven Munatones said...

Thank you for mentioning Thomas Lurz's father who was a stalwart in the open water swimming community for years. He is missed and we are grateful his son can carry on the father tradition of being a great ambassador of the sport.