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Budapest Journal: 11 September
Californian athlete and TransWeb guest correspondent Craig Hobart shares his impressions of the 1999 World Transplant Games

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, man!"

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.

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