| Once all the ribbons have found their new homes,
gold medal winner Sarah Ogden joins hands with those on either
side of her. And as she raises the joined arms skyward, she
yells, "One, two, three!" and photos are snapped: all wide
smiles, and shouts of glee. Even in the midday sun, these
high wattage grins reflect the brightest - shinier even than
the studs in both of Lewis' ears, as he stands aside, clapping
Sarah Ogden is 15 and a member of Team Utah. She received
a liver from an anonymous donor 14 years ago, which she
needed because she was born with biliary atresia. Her mother,
Michelle, who was furiously snapping pictures, says Sarah's
had little trouble since. She won the bronze last year with
a put of 9 feet, but she was at a loss to account for her
vast improvement - to this year's winning toss of 17 feet.
(She admitted she hadn't even practiced.)
"I guess I just got stronger," she said.
Barry Friedman - Games Stalwart
Barry Friedman, 53, stood up last night at the point
in the Opening Ceremonies when those who've participated
in all of the Transplant Games - Indianapolis in 1990, L.A.
in '92, '94 in Atlanta, '96 in Salt Lake, and Columbus in
'98 - were appropriately honored. This morning he won a
gold medal for the first time in the men's 50-59 shot put
with a toss of 10'6".
"Just happy to be here," he modestly says of his enormous
But Friedman, a member of the Eastern Missouri & Metro
East Team, has done much more than just show up. Since receiving
his mother's kidney in 1987 - just before his 40th birthday
- he's been not only an active participant but also a deeply
involved organizer of certain Transplant Games events, as
well as an active participant in other causes, including
organ & tissue procurement and support.
Barry would be entering the high jump competition this
afternoon, but after his shot-put victory he seemed much
more interested in talking about how he and his five teammates
would fare in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament - an event
Friedman helped establish - later tonight. If they advance
in the early rounds, they'll play tomorrow night as well.
Friedman loves the competition, and he's happy to have
participated at every Transplant Games to date. But that's
not what drives him.
"What I like best," says Friedman, "is to see all the other
people doing so well. And their families - family members
have to go through this, too. They have to provide support
all the time, and now they're able to provide it in a positive
"Plus, year after year, I see the same faces," Friedman
continues, pausing for a moment to reflect on what these
reunions mean to him. "We're all living, doing well, leading
interesting and productive lives."
These Are Two Very Fast Runners
Chris Chiarello, 52, and Matt LaBauve, 33, are hanging
casually over opposite sides of the chain link fence that
separates participants from observers at the track & field
venue. They're talking about running, and times, and transplants.
These are two very fast guys who found they had a knack
for running only after they had transplants. Chiarello,
of Team North California, ran two years in college, but
started running again while on dialysis waiting for a kidney
and pancreas transplant eight years ago. Chiarello has been
a diabetic for 23 years, requiring five laser surgeries.
But he says he found he was easily running six-minute miles
even when his blood sugar levels were dangerously low.
Chiarello was chatting with LaBauve while awaiting the
1500 meters, his first event of the day. (He would later
run both the 400 and the 800.) Chiarello wouldn't hazard
a guess at his likely time because he's "not in shape."
But this wiry guy admitted he expects to run "around 20
minutes" in Saturday's 5K (3.1 miles) road race at Epcot
Center. But to Chiarello, a 5K's a not much more than a
brisk walk, anyway. He ran the 1996 Boston Marathon along
with Buzz Hogue (Team Florida) and Colleen Horan (National
Matt LaBauve (Team Louisiana) has more in common with Chiarello
than just a love of running found later in life. He also
had a kidney and pancreas transplant - in 1990 - but both
were rejected eight years later, just after the World Transplant
Games in Sydney in 1997. LaBauvre suspects the Sydney flu
he picked up while competing there may have been the culprit.
Before his first transplant, LaBauvre - a solid, brawny
guy with a new tattoo on his left biceps - was a wrestler
and a weightlifter. He only started running after he heard
about the transplant games, and because his doctor advised
against sports involving direct physical contact. Since
he began competing, he's won 14 medals in the 100, 200 and
400 meters, including a Silver at the 1999 Budapest Games
with a very speedy time of 59.27.
After the kidney and pancreas rejections LaBauve was on
dialysis for eight months - until his younger brother, Randy,
became a donor. Randy ran track and cross-country at LSU,
and Matt had started his new regime about a decade ago by
going for training runs with him. Randy is still an active
and competitive runner, and both brothers tried to put the
transplant off as long as possible so that Randy could run
in a fast-approaching race against an old nemesis. Matt's
condition wouldn't allow it, though, so the transplant took
place before the big run. Randy had recovered well enough
to run the "Fun Run" at that event, though, and both brothers
can continue to have fun together for a long time to come.