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Why Bruce, Why?
September 29, 2010Posted by on
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.
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.
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.
You’ll always be one of my track idols, Bruce. But I just can’t help but ask: “Why, Bruce? Why?!”