Monday, February 26, 2007

Olympic Champion Survives
Yet Another
Brush With Death

I'm sorry, but I just had to put this up. It is too funny. Read through to the last line:

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Olympic wrestling champion Rulon Gardner lost a toe to frostbite after being lost in the wilderness, impaled himself with an arrow and was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.

In his latest escape from death, he survived a plane crash over the weekend into the aptly named Good Hope Bay on the Utah-Arizona border.

"I think I'm really lucky," Gardner told CNN on Monday, "after everything I have been through."

Gardner and two Utah brothers were rescued by a fisherman Sunday after swimming more than an hour in 44-degree water and spending the night without shelter.

None suffered life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

"It takes only about 30 minutes for someone swimming in 44-degree water to start suffering the effects of hypothermia, so the fact that they swam in it for an hour, not to mention surviving the plane crash and the night without fire or shelter, is pretty amazing," said Steven Luckesen, a district ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

"If these guys were a cat with nine lives, they just used up three of them."

Since delivering one of the great Olympic upsets at the 2000 Sydney Games, the 35-year-old Gardner has had a history of harrowing escapes.

In 2002, he became stranded while snowmobiling in the Wyoming and lost a toe. Then in 2004, he was struck by an automobile while riding a motorcycle. Back in third grade, he punctured his abdomen with an arrow at a class show-and-tell.

The lesson, Gardner said, is "hopefully teach people to be smarter about the choices they make."

First off, dude's a real man.

But, beyond that, for God's sake, when you start making statements like, I guess the point of my life is for other people to learn from my mistakes and make smarter choices, you know, maybe, just maybe, it's time to make some of those smarter choices yourself.

But, where would we be in our world without men like this; men who have absolutely no fear.