The Medal

As I stood on the block and leaned forward to have my very first medal placed around my neck, I was crying.

It was time again to go to the World Transplant Games. It was 1989 and soon I would be in a part of the world I had never been before ~Asia. I had been training regularly for a few months, but not as I had trained two years previously for Innsbruck. My focus now was on participation, make new friends, to do the best I could and to share in the accomplishments of others. I knew why. I stood proudly with the Canadian Team at opening Ceremonies when I heard the words of President Wee Kim Wee: "A Celebration of Hope and Survival..."

It was the day of the big race. It was my chance to do my best again. But sometimes a dream comes true in a different way than you had hoped or imagined it would. Since 1980 I'd hoped to win a medal. Don't we all? Singapore gave me one but in receiving it, I was so heartily and privately disappointed and equally ashamed of my attitude toward the circumstance under which it was given. When I stood on the diving block and saw only two others in my race, I knew I had to come in second to win a medal. That was my unchanged mind - set. I also realized with amazement that again I'd fallen prey to the devil of competitiveness. I thought I'd really learned in Singapore, BUT ...human nature is sometimes fickle.

As I stood on the block and leaned forward to have my very first medal placed around my neck, I was crying. A very dear friend of mine asked if I was crying with happiness because I'd won my first medal. I had seconds to make a decision. I did. I said Yes.

I couldn't take away from the symbolism the Games stood for, from her, from me, from everybody. I don't think I ever told her - I don't know. I only knew then, that I needed time to sort it all out. So much foreign matter. And I did. And that's why i wrote this to be included on this magnificent web page. Instead of writing the very true quote "Winning Isn't Everything" I would rather state a new one: "There are many ways of winning." Right Gloria?

Dedicated to the Canadian Team, that attended the 8th World Transplant Games in Budapest, Hungary, August 26th-31, 1991


- Carol Devine