Sports figures can be larger than life...
To us mortals, sports figures can be larger than life; heroes, champions, death defying, and seemingly immortal. They inspire, enrage, elate, and disappoint us yet we remain captured by their greatness. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
I remember my son being drawn to Pantani and his surges up the mountains. His face focused and seemingly in a daydream. We watched the moments quietly until the thoughts of his ability had to be verbalized with a simple ? wow, look at him go? followed by ?yeah, and he almost lost his life and career in a car wreck!?
It seems those who live their lives in a bubble can never achieve the expectations of the faces looking in. Imagine trying to please everyone in the world! Imagine thinking everyone in the world is disappointed in you. Where do those pressures take someone?
I am happy to have been one of those faces looking at an individual who was an inspiration. An individual who was a fighter and a winner. An individual who set speed records going uphill! An individual who won the Giro and the Tour in the same year! (Can Lance do that?) I wish I knew more and I wish I knew more of him.
Death always seems to make one ponder on someone and one?s self. Let?s ponder our love of the sport and not forget The Pirate.
Rest in peace, Marco Pantani.