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Hi - I just read Vickie Slade's great (and emotional) blog post- from Boulder Colorado, and it made me think of my son, A.J. He has been training in the sport of luge since the age of 12.. he was the US Jr. 1 Champion at the age of 14 - for athletes 17 and under...BUT a coach decided that he should reach the Number 1 status again, and THEN he could go on to Europe and the World Championships.. Politics, but that is what happens, but my son is a fighter. A GENTLE giant. Obviously, without the better equipment, races every other week on different tracks in Europe, and 3 more months training a year... that would have been impossible... my son was always 3rd, 5th, 6th. in his age group but not 1st... We saw the writing on the wall, that he would be dropped and they did drop him - one year before they needed too... and so I decided to give him a dual citizenship (I am British), and before the age of 18, my son became British also.. With that, it entitled him to slide for Great Britain.. It meant we had to sponsor him to a very large extent, but my son finished 16th in the Turin Olympics, in luge - beating out 2 of the (older and more experienced) Americans he had been passed over for, and who had received better training, at no cost to themselves... The American coaches asked repeatedly for AJ to return to their fold... but how could he turn his back on the country that had embraced him?
We have been sponsoring AJ throughout... and in September of last year, 3 months before the Olympics in Vancouver, AJ (who has no home track like the US ) was invited by the Canadians to slide at Vancouver... Athletes usually slide only 2 runs a day as it involves every muscle of the body, and they had him slide 7 runs... on the 7th run (each run utilizing every muscle in your body), he took his mind of sliding, was tired and crashed... and when he looked, he saw that his leg was facing in the wrong direction... his hip had come out, he had torn all of his hip flexor muscles, and damaged his sciatic nerve. He was told to forget the Olympics, and to just worry about walking properly again which could take 2 years. He resolved to go to the Olympics - even though he still needed to qualify... and even though he was told his recuperation would be those 2 years... he not only qualified 2 months later, he made it to the Olympics... A.J. was on track to finish in the top 10.... per the training time results before the Olympics.. AJ. slid down the track 2 athletes before Nodar slid down and crashed to his death.... Everything changed...
In shortening the track after Nodar's death, my son's finish was ultimately changed as his starts were not as good because of his injury, and he needed the length of the track to gain sped - driving being his forte.... But, my son - a true Olympian to the end, stated that if it was in the best interests of all sliders then altering the track was a good thing..... It ultimately changed the outcome of the Olympics for my son... for had he finished in the top 10, he would have received funding for the next Olympics, and we can no longer fund him.... but do we admire our son and respect him for he presented himself and spoke on behalf of the sport and Nodar at that time? Definitely ! He was quoted by several newspaper writers as being a true Olympian in his actions. He was and is. He came in 16th - in the top 50% ....which was unblievable based on his injuries.
His story is not the tragic story of Brock Mealer from U of M - who Vickie so eloquently touched upon, but his is also a story of never giving up, of persevering, and being an Olympian in every sense of the word. When AJ was younger, and we would travel to Lake Placid to train, I would play Lance Armstrong's book "It's Not About the Bike" on the car radio... and he was truly inspirational. We read it several times.
I would like to think that amongst athletes, my son is also inspirational. YOU can make anything happen if you believe! WE as Realtors can make anything happen.... and as long as we feel that, and believe that - IT WILL HAPPEN.
Gay E. Rosen, ABR, CBR, CRS, GRI, SRES, CDPE, REOS Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker Houlihan Lawrence 2070 Boston Post Road Larchmont, New York 10538 (914) 833-0420 Ext. 307 (914) 907-2645 Cell
2012, 2011 & 2010 Platinum Award Recipient 2012, 2011 & 2010 Top Agent Award in Customer Satisfaction
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.