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The Day Stardust Died

David Bowie died.

The day after, David Sime died. This post is about him.

My father has always been a good athlete. As a young kid in Fairlawn, New Jersey, my dad met David Sime. They played together. Motivating each other, they became great athletes. Co-captains of their high school football team, track, pick up basketball – whatever they did they did it well and together. Dad went off to be the star football player at Wheaton College. David went off to be a football, baseball and track star at Duke. Dad went into ministry, David into medicine.

Sports writer David D’Alessandro in a piece he did about David in 2012 said, “What if you were a world-class ophthalmologist who revolutionized the surgical technique for intraocular lens implants — someone who treated everyone from Dick Nixon to Mickey Mantle to the entire Miami Dolphins roster over 42 years of practicing medicine? Would these not be the bedrock achievements of a notable life?”

Olympics. 1960. Rome.

David came in second to Armin Hary in the Olympic 100 m. He anchored the U.S. to an apparent victory in the 4×100 m relay. However, the team was disqualified for passing out of the zone and Sime lost his chance at an Olympic gold. During his career, he held world records at 100 yards, 220 yards and the 220 yd low hurdles.

People say, ‘How could you not appreciate getting a silver?’ I understand that. But when you get to that level, believe me: You’re not there for silver. And those who say that doesn’t matter probably don’t know what it is to compete.” – David Sime

Dad said he ran in the Masters Track and Field circuit in his 60 and 70s because of David. Competition is a great motivator.

David’s youngest of 3 children, Lisa, married former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. My father married them. Their son Christian is a household name. The legacy of greatness continues.

My father’s heart hurts today. Life is a little bit lonelier –  a little bit sadder when you lose your person. David and Dad were best friends for over 70 years. Best men in each other’s weddings, the first phone calls made at births of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. Their weekly phone calls were the most animated I’d seen my father. Talking about old friends, old plays on the field, old memories that bound them together for 50, 60, 70 years. Dad prayed that David would know Jesus. That he’d trust Him. That he’d offer his life to Him. I hope he did. I hope they will see each other again.

Are you Running to Win? What will your legacy be?

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. 1 Corinthians 9:25 – 27

Dust to dust. In this case, Stardust.

dad and sime

#death #running #friendship #sprinting #DavidSime #Olympics #masterstrackandfield #stardust #racing

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