On the Run: Off the road | AspenTimes.com

On the Run: Off the road

Rick CarrollAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN The Boogie’s Diner Buddy 5 Mile race draws some 800 runners every Independence Day, but a top-10 favorite has bowed out. Aspen Times reporter Joel Stonington put himself on the DL because of what he claims is food poisoning from a Saturday meal of supermarket sushi. I wish Joel would consider these feats before backing out:• It’s Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, and Michael Jordan has a bitter flu. He fires off 38 points, capped by the game-winner. Jordan is so exhausted his teammates nearly have to carry him off the court. • The U.S. women’s team has never won an Olympic gold in the team gymnastics competition – until 1996, when Kerri Strug fights an injured ankle with a gut-wrenching performance on the vault to clinch the gold.• Even though diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 12 years earlier, Muhammad Ali, who has difficulty speaking, lights the Olympic torch, enthralling spectators across the world. • On April 30, 1961, Willie Mays convinces his manager to let him play – despite an acute stomachache. Mays hits four dingers, tying a record. • In 1968, Kip Keino arrives at the Olympics in Mexico City with a severe bladder infection. Even so, Keino runs the 10,000 meters before collapsing with two laps to go. When doctors order him not to run in the 1,500 meters, Keino does so anyway. He wins by 20 meters. • In 1976, Rocky Balboa, whom oddsmakers say won’t last one round, goes 15 rounds against Apollo Creed. Creed holds onto his title belt, but Rocky wins three Oscars. The moral of the story: Quitters never win, winners never quit. Or, come to think of it, lay off the cut-rate sushi.

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