NY TIMES article: Amputee Seeks Medal and to Master a Rival

Feeling good never felt more infuriating. Marlon Shirley, the world’s premier amputee sprinter, woke up July 3 with no pain in his knee — not from the half-dozen recent operations, not from the staph infections, not from other problems still lurking in there — for the first time in months. Yet all he could think of was: It’s too late now. I can’t be ready in time.

Marlon Shirley, above in the Netherlands in 2006, has two Paralympic golds in the 100 meters.
photo by Fred Ernst/Associated Press

Ready or not, Monday morning at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, Shirley will blast from the blocks and run what he calls the race of his life — the 100-meter sprint in the Paralympics, the Olympics for disabled athletes, which opened Saturday. It might become the last race of his life, because for all he knows, his knee will explode somewhere around the 70-meter mark. But two months after assuming he would never race in Beijing, at least he would fail trying.

Read the full story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/sports/othersports/07sprinter.html

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