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Sunday, August 29, 2004

C'mon, let the guy run

A lunatic defrocked priest pulled the lead runner off the course in today's Olympic marathon, costing him about 12 seconds directly and probably the gold medal:
The defrocked Irish priest who bolted from the crowd and tackled the marathon leader about three miles from the finish Sunday has been arrested before for disrupting sporting events.

Cornelius Horan, 57, was wearing a green beret, a red kilt and knee-high green socks when he attacked Brazilian runner Vanderlei Lima, knocking him into the crowd. Lima was able to recover and finish, but had to settle for the bronze medal.
To his infinite credit, Lima kept running, even though he had clearly been frightened and possibly even slightly injured. He had obviously planned his race of a lifetime, pulling away from the pack to a lead of over 40 seconds before the incident. Afterwards, he was clearly struggling, and was caught by an Italian and an American. Lima kept chugging, though, and finished.

I know that George Bush destroys people's dreams every day, and in much worse ways than this. But seeing this nut ruin Lima's chance for Olympic gold, something he has surely been training for for years, was very personal and direct. The marathon may be about the purest competition in the Olympics. No slip at the start or dropped baton or bad judging can cost someone the race. Training, preparation, and physical and mental toughness are all required in huge quantities to win a marathon, and it sure looked like Lima had it all. For some end-times nutcase to interfere was disgusting.