Why Bruce, Why?

One of the most definitive phases in my college track career and my early adulthood came during the 2003 to 2004. I was juggling academics whilst struggling with the demands of the tougher senior races. Languishing at the cellars of my event during my freshman year, I gobbled up as much track & field and Olympic books as possible, in need of inspiration.

Photo from amazon.com

A teammate recommended “Decathlon Challenge”, a book on Bruce Jenner’s road towards the 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medal. I had the book photocopied in its entirety (a breach on intellectual property rights!) and read it twice. It was my first-ever glimpse at the life of an elite athlete, highlighting the importance of wholehearted dedication to achieve one’s goals in sport. Reading about how Jenner dedicated 4 years of his life to everything track & field ranks almost as high as Liu Xiang’s gold medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics in my list of Major Athletics Influences.

Read Sidekicks, a post I wrote about Liu Xiang

Beyond the culmination of Jenner’s Decathlon Challenge in 1976, I’ve lost track of my hero. I didn’t read up on Jenner as much as I did on, say, Liu Xiang and Allen Johnson.

About a year ago, I stumble upon an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. I was flabbergasted at the change in Jenner’s appearance. It was just horrid, seeing his surgically-altered face.

Photo from chikamuna.com

You’ll always be one of my track idols, Bruce. But I just can’t help but ask: “Why, Bruce? Why?!”

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