Go Olympics!

by brendan on 08/17/2008

I just finished watching the swimming events tonight. Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal, and was immediately crowned the greatest person to ever live. I exaggerate, of course, but so does NBC so I figured it was okay.

The other big swimming story, at least according to NBC, was Dara Torres. She claimed her third silver tonight, which was an impressive feat considering she was battling swimmers half her age.

I probably sound like I’m not happy with the NBC coverage of the games, but that’s not totally true. Yes, they did show beach volleyball. And badminton. And 439 hours of boxing. All while they could have been showing more swimming. Yes, I would actually watch an empty pool if there isn’t an event going on. But I’m sure they did the best they could, considering how disinterested most Americans are in most Olympic events. I just want as much swimming as I can get, since it won’t be on TV again for a while.

Anyway, I mentioned Dara Torres earlier and there is another reason that I bring her up. A side note to her story is that her coach went into the hospital for a routine surgery, and ended up with an aplastic anemia diagnosis. I perked up immediately when I heard that, since I too have aplastic anemia, and it’s something I hear mentioned on TV about once every never.

My AA is idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown or at least very obscure. Nobody has been able to pinpoint for me why I have this condition, or where I got it from. Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals is known to sometimes cause AA, so I’ve always joked that my years exposed to pool chemicals as a lifeguard and a swimmer was what secretly did me in. Now that there is a “public” diagnosis of another individual who has likely spent much time exposed to pool chemicals, my “joke” has to at least be upgraded to “conspiracy theory”.

And yes, I do recognize how many millions of people spend time in pools and do not get AA. I also know that the condition is much more common in Asia, a part of the world not necessarily know for an over-saturation of pool chemicals. But it’s all I’ve got, so give me a break.

If you found this blog because you were Googling aplastic anemia info, my AA blog would probably be of more interest to you. Please email me (fight aplastic anemia at NOSPAM gmail dot com – remove the NOSPAM to convert to an address) for more information or to share your story with me.

Dara Torres’ coach is Michael Lohberg. I wish him and his family the best.

There is 1 comment in this article:

  1. 08/19/2008Courtney says:

    I kept forgetting to call you after every Phelps medal! I figured you were the only other person that would appreciate it as much as I did. Looking back, I now realize that I should have come up with some sort of countdown clock since:
    1. I love countdown clocks.
    2. I love the Olympics.
    3. I love Michael Phelps.

    I heard that about Dara Torres coach too and thought of you and the same week that I heard of Dara’s coach, my mom told me that they think one of her friend’s sons has aplastic amenia. Perhaps your problem wasn’t pool chemicals, but that you were unlucky enough to to have me as a friend. AH!

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