Budapest Journal: 11
athlete and TransWeb guest correspondent Craig
Hobart shares his impressions of the 1999 World Transplant
Saturday, September 11, 1999: Vaci Utca has been the mecca
of vendors in Europe for hundreds of years. Now, here I sit
with my Team SoCal teammate "Rags" and my wife &
coach, Tanya. The stress and anxiety of the week has been
erased from their faces. Both Rags and I have finished our
events; all that is left is to simply enjoy Hungary.
The two faces before me are laughing hard in between huge
bites of vanilla, apricot, strawberry, and kiwi-lime foggy
naggy. Two more cups of cappuccino are placed in front of
us and again we chant our new toast: "We are in BUDAPEST,
Our talk is of how good the Games have been for us. The LAX
[airport] metal detector will go wild when I arrive home,
because of all the team pins I've collected. We talk of how
much harder we might train, complain about smokers, laugh
at other tourists as they do us, and try to remember what
a long road it has been to arrive at the Games.
For me it seems impossible to be sitting at a world-reknowned
confectioner's as a decorated transplant athlete. However,
I find it more amazing that all the other competitors here
have travelled the same uphill path as I, and pulled or been
dragged by their family and friends just as I have.
As most sporting championships end with the winners claiming,
"I am going to Disney World," most of Team USA will
be back at it in Florida, defending or claiming new records
at the U.S. national Games next summer.