Budapest Journal: 5 September
athlete and TransWeb guest correspondent Craig
Hobart shares his impressions of the 1999 World Transplant
Sunday, September 5, 1999: it finally arrived! Drawn across
the city skyline is the tops of dozens of castles and fantastic
architecture that has remained the same for hundreds of years.
Each structure could be placed alone in another city, and
it would instantly be named a historical monument, attracting
thousands of tourists. Here in Budapest, the same building
is used every day for something as simple as a bank, or the
At home each moring, as my computer fired up, a new message
would appear, reminding me exactly how many days were remaining.
All the anticipation and excitement became reality tonight
as Team USA was escorted into the famous Hungarian landmark
that is translated as "Heroes' Square."
Usually, on the pool deck, I am the only swimmer with the
long scar leading into my Speedo. It makes me unique, except
when I train with my pals from Team
SoCal. Today the 41 teams cheering as we enter the square
also share our common bond of having received a second chance
at life. This week, I will not be unique at all, and that
is what makes the opening ceremonies of the XII World Transplant
games so special.