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Author Topic: OLYMPICS: Kidney ailment ends Cormier's quest for gold  (Read 2890 times)
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« on: August 21, 2008, 12:41:49 PM »

August 21, 2008

OLYMPICS: Kidney ailment ends Cormier's quest for gold

Cormier responding to treatment following organ failure in Beijing

Bob Heist

Shock. Disbelief. Despair.

Those were the easy words to come up with to describe the latest disappointment to rock the life of Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier.

No one, though, could quite articulate a broken heart.

"I'm sick," said Cormier's high school coach at Northside, Stephen "Tank" Lotief. "I'm sick. How do you put this into words?"

On Wednesday night, the six-time U.S. national champion was supposed to be wearing a blue singlet in bout 121 of the Beijing Olympics in freestyle wrestling, facing Cuba's Michel Batiste in the preliminary round at 211.5 pounds.

Instead, Cormier was lying in a bed taking intravenous medication for kidney failure that had rushed him to a Beijing hospital less than 24 hours before.

A gold medal hopeful, Cormier successfully made weight Tuesday, but later in the evening experienced severe physical reactions while trying to rehydrate his body. He was first treated at the Poly Clinic in the Athlete Village and later at a local hospital.

Accompanied by his wife, Robin, and mother, Audrey Cormier Benoit, when Cormier was first seen by hospital doctors, they determined his kidney function was at just 30 percent.

In an exclusive telephone interview with The Daily Advertiser on Wednesday afternoon, Cormier was holding out hope that he might be able to compete and improve on a fourth-place finish at the 2004 Athens Games.

His body, which rejected fluids for hours after weighing in, though, didn't cooperate.

"For 10 years I've been taking my body where it didn't want to go, going up and down (in weight)," Cormier, 29, said from his hospital bed in Beijing. "I guess my body had enough."

Robin confirmed that Daniel was responding well to IV medication and that early reports he would have to undergo dialysis were unfounded.

"Dialysis was mentioned at first because his kidneys were operating so poorly, but U.S. (Olympic Team) doctors were against it, and Daniel was against it," she said. "The numbers are dropping and it looks like he'll have normal (kidney) function."

News of Cormier being unable to compete is the latest in a string of well-documented disappointments that have followed the greatest wrestler in Louisiana history.

They include:

# On Thanksgiving Day 1986, at age 7, his father, Joseph, was shot and killed during an argument with the father of his second wife. As a junior at Northside High School, a close friend was killed in an automobile accident; the next year a cousin died in another one.

# On Jan. 27, 2001, Cormier's best friend at Oklahoma State, Daniel Lawson, was one of 10 people who died in a plane crash involving the Cowboys basketball team.

# On June 14, 2003, his 3 1/2-month-old daughter Kaedyn was killed when a tractor-trailer slammed into the car she was riding in outside Austin, Texas.

# And now this for the three-time state champion at Northside, two-time JUCO champion at Colby (Kan.) Community College, NCAA Division I runner-up at Oklahoma State, six-time U.S. national champion, 2007 World medalist and two-time Olympian.

"This is hard to believe. I just can't believe this," said Dr. Nick Accardo, an orthopedic surgeon in Franklin that's been involved with Cormier's life and his career since the ninth grade. "This is terrible news."

The only American wrestler to medal at the World Championships in September after earning a bronze, Cormier was a strong gold medal contender, and had become an intriguing media story after overcoming so much turmoil in his personal life.

But his second Olympic dream will end like the first - with one of the world's top wrestlers leaving the Games minus a medal.

Official word came Wednesday at 8:50 p.m. CDT that Cormier had withdrawn from the competition in a U.S. Olympic Committee memo.

"It's a disappointment. I can't compare it to anything," Cormier said. "I trained so hard and had big dreams and was on track to do special things in Beijing ...

"I'm pretty down. What can you say?"


Admin for IHateDialysis 2008 - 2014, retired.
Jenna is our daughter, bad bladder damaged her kidneys.
Was on in-center hemodialysis 2003-2007.
7 yr transplant lost due to rejection.
She did PD Sept. 2013 - July 2017
Found a swap living donor using social media, friends, family.
New kidney in a paired donation swap July 26, 2017.
Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
News video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-7KvgQDWpU
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