As a Sports Reporter, I am often asked "who is my favorite athlete." I grew up a big Cal Ripken Jr. fan. I also liked Greg Maddux, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....
My favorite athlete of all time is.... Jim Kurtz, my father.
In 2006, he won a gold medal as a Triathlete in the National Transplant Games in 2006. He did so less than a year after receiving a liver transplant when his liver became littered with Cancer. The surgery was brutal, and the recovery was worse. Fighting through chemo and radiation treatments, my dad continued to exercise. As a former athlete, keeping "fit" was very important to him. During his treatment, he learned of an Olympic-style competition that was held every two years for transplant patients called "The Transplant Games." He was in! My dad started to swim, bike and run with a goal of competing as a Triathlete. Not only did he compete, he won the national GOLD MEDAL! I have never been so proud of anyone in my life!
In 2008, the Cancer returned. My dad died on June 28, 2008.
Last night, I finally got the courage to dig up the video I edited for him after he won his gold medal. It was the first time I watched it since he died. It brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I am posting this video exactly two years after his death (the link is below).
I wanted to finally share it with all of you because I finally have the answer to the question, "Who is my favorite athlete?"
Without question, it's Jim Kurtz. My dad.