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World Games,
Winter World




Splashes of Gold, Silver and Bronze
Story by Robert Garypie
Photography by Robert Garypie, Ferenc Biro and Gary Green
Audio by
Robert Garypie
VIEW RESULTS when available

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Aussies & Brits cheer

Over 100 medals were awarded as little kids and big kids alike shared the cool water of the olympic pool today. From early in the morning until late in the afternoon, heat after heat in many different events kept the water churned up. With more than forty events broken into different age categories, each team always had a few wet athletes, a few dry ones and a few taking naps or eating snacks. The flags of dozens of nations stood in a colorful row behind the gold, silver and bronze medal winners' platforms. The platforms didn't get much of a break as every few minutes more winners took their places on the 1, 2 and 3 steps. Every group of medal recipients was surrounded by an ever-present crowd of friends and family with all manner of cameras.

Gabor Horvath was kind enough to tell me a bit more about the building that houses the pools. A Hungarian hero, Alfred Hajos, was the first Hungarian to ever win gold in the olympics. His winning performance at the 1896 Athens Games brought gold and fame in his home country. He then became an architect and designed the Margit Island swimming facility which has become known as Hungary's national pool. There is plenty of room to hold an international event like the Transplant Games and simultaneously accommodate diving lessons, water polo, and recreational swimming.

The enthusiasm and pure pleasure in the faces of athletes and families alike made this a terrific day at the pool. Rosters of swimmers and events were pasted onto the brick wall of the building and people kept looking for their names in order to be sure to be ready when their events began. An orderly procession of swimmers preceded the 25 meter events to the south end of the pool so the the cheers of the crowd could be heard as the races neared the finish on the north end of the pool. After every event there were congratulations among the fastest and slowest just going to prove that everyone here is a winner!



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Interview with Ray Velasco of Team USA, multiple gold medal winner in swimming


Rocky Road
Story by Eleanor Jones
Photography by Eleanor Jones, Gary Green and Ferenc Biro

Audio by Eleanor Jones
with help fromGary Green and Douglas Armstrong
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Interview with Gabor Horvath of MTSE

The bicycling event at the XII World Transplant Games took place on Csepel, a large island in the Danube (or as the Hungarians say, Duna).

As we approached the starting line (which also served as the finish line), we saw bicyclists from all over the world, in brightly colored attire, some with helmets, some without, some warming up by bicycling around the street where the event was to start, others doing last minute checks on their two-wheeled steeds. There were some pretty serious, expensive bikes, and some that were less so.

Over the rock music playing on the sound system I could hear riders speaking in Italian, French, Australian English, British English, Swedish, Finnish, German, and of course Hungarian.

In fact, there were 57 bicyclists in all, from seventeen different countries; of these, only six were women. The youngest competitor was seventeen.
The start of the race was somewhat delayed due to the late arrival of the truck with some of the bicycles, causing some of the riders a bit of anxiety. One rider who had more than a little trouble with his bike was Australian Mark Dinnar, whose bike was completely ruined in a car crash a few days ago here in Budapest. Although he suffered bruises and a few minor injuries, Mark was still quite game to ride today, and did so on a bike loaned by one of the sponsors.
With lots of cheers and shouts, the three races began in succession, and bikers were quickly out of sight. What followed was a bit confusing for most concerned. As I understand it from the bronze medalist, Great Britain's Richard Smith, those who were right in front, directly behind the motorcyclist leading the race, had no trouble following the course. But those who fell behind soon lost sight of the motorcyclist and found themselves somewhat lost, uncertain of where the course was, and on streets that didn't seem to be closed to motor vehicles. One of the women came biking toward the finish line and as the crowd began to cheer (thinking she was finishing, having completed the two laps). But she said "I'm not done, I'm LOST!"
Luckily, it was possible to run the race again, to give those who wanted to complete the course the opportunity to do so, which went a long way towards satisfying the cyclists.
XII World Transplant Games webcast front page Photo Gallery About the World Transplant Games Sponsors of the Webcast XII World Transplant Games webcast front page Sponsors of the Webcast Behind the Scenes Contact the Webcast Team Press Information Photo Gallery

Last modified: 11 May 2000