April 18 marked the 100-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. To celebrate, the United States Olympic Committee'...
April 18 marked the 100-day countdown to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. To celebrate, the United States Olympic Committee's Road to London Celebration presented by Hilton HHonors transformed Times Square into a festive Olympic Village for one day. Complete with a sitting volleyball demonstration from members of the U.S. Women's Sitting Volleyball Team, and the presence of dozens of U.S. Olympians, U.S. Paralympians and hopefuls, April 18 awakened the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games throughout New York City, shining a spotlight on the inspiring stories of the athletes who make up Team USA.
Marlon Shirley could add an extra kick to an already spicy lineup in the 100m T43/44 sprint at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Shirley’s world-record time for single amputees of 10.91 still stands today, and the two-time Paralympic gold medalist is attempting a comeback after falling flat at the Beijing 2008 Games.
The American won the 100m event at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Games, but then a staph infection put a damper on his Beijing 2008 hopes just five months before the event. Despite nine operations in eight weeks, Shirley still competed, but it was not a pretty sight.
Nearly eight seconds into the event final, Shirley collapsed on the track, vaulting into a backward summersault. He refused medical service, dragging himself to the finish line to complete the race in 34.43 seconds with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“I’ve always considered myself a champion. I’ve always considered myself an entertainer,” Shirley said. “Going down face down into the track is not the lasting image I want to leave as an impression on people.”
Shirley said he will participate in an organized race in April for the first time since Beijing at the Mt. SAC Relays in California. Nobody knows exactly what is in store the next couple of months for the sprinter, but Shirley’s ready to find out.
Read the complete news story on Marlon Shirley, by Stuart Lieberman, International Paralympic Committee