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Viewpoint / Letters : A Lesson to Be Learned From Ormsby Tragedy

June 21, 1986

Grantland Rice's poem about winning and losing was never more fitting than in the painfully depressing case of distance runner Kathy Ormsby, who jumped from a bridge shortly after dropping out of the 10,000-meter run in the NCAA track and field championships. As a result of multiple spinal fractures, she lost the use of her legs.

I was moved to tears upon learning that this vibrant young woman will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Was winning the race really that important and was her falling short of winning justification for such a drastic and grievous act?

It is fervently hoped that every parent and athletic coach who injudiciously admonishes and severely berates young athletes and scholars for failure to win and outdo the competition at any cost, can learn from Kathy Ormsby's crushingly poignant experience.

If just one young person is spared destruction or fearful, debilitating injury because of Ormsby's plight, the horrendous price she paid will be easier to bear.

LANNY R. MIDDINGS

San Ramon

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