Revisiting the 2013 Boston Marathon

SPORTS EYE - Raffy Uytiepo (The Freeman) - December 1, 2020 - 12:00am

The date April 15, 2013 will forever remain in the history of the Boston Marathon, the oldest in the world.  As runners were approaching the finish line at Boylston Street, two bombs exploded, the first at 2:49:43 and the second, 13 seconds later. When the first bomb went off, the race clock read 4:09:43, the last finisher crossed the line at 2:57:06 with a chip time of 4:11:50, after that, officials stopped the clock.  There were 23,336 who started the race and 17,580 official finishers.  Of the 5,633 runners who were stopped on the course, 4,503 made it past the 40K-mark (“Two kilometers na lang unta”). Three spectators died, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu and eight-year old Martin Richard while 282 were wounded.  Fourteen people lost their limbs including Jeff Bauman, who saw the bomber minutes before he left the bomb in a backpack near a trash can where Bauman was standing.  While being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, he revealed to the  FBI that he saw the bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev up close and while in the hospital, he ripped out his breathing tube and tried to speak but couldn’t.  He asked for a pad paper and wrote down seven words “Saw the guy, look right at me”. Bauman lost both his legs from above the knee.  His testimony led to one of the biggest manhunt in the country’s history. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bomber who placed the backpack at the finish line was killed after a heavy chase and after being wounded from police gunfire. Tamerlan was accidentally ran over by his brother Dzhokhar then 19, as he escaped.  Dzhokhar was captured in Watertown, a Boston suburb, after he hid in a boat.  He got a death sentence which was over turned by the court and is awaiting re-sentencing. 

Jeff Bauman

Jeff Bauman who now walks with artificial legs, travels the USA sharing his story of perseverance and hope.  I received an autographed book titled Stronger in 2017, written by Bauman.  The inspiring true story was made into a motion picture “Stronger” starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  “I saw the bomber, he took my legs, but he didn’t break me, he only made me stronger”, Bauman wrote on the cover of the book.

Cry for Diego, Argentina

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column on Diego Maradona, titled “Hand of God”.   He had just brain surgery then to remove blood clots from his brain and doctors believed he was on his way to recovery.  Then the bad news came, Maradona suffered a heart attack and died at 60.  Despite his being a controversial person, Maradona is considered Argentina’s hero and will forever be remembered for his “Hand of God” goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.  Now the "Hand of God” has taken away Maradona.  Please cry for Diego, Aregentina.

Maria Sharapova

This blonde bombshell collects stamps in her spare time.  She also collects boyfriends including Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, basketball player Sasha Vujacic and fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitrov.  Sharapova received her first tennis racquet at aged four and attended a tennis clinic ran by Martina Navratilova when she was six.  In 2004, the Russian beauty then only 17, stunned Serena Williams to win the senior title.  She is a five-time Grand Slam champion and an Olympic silver medalist.  She is the first woman to carry the Russian flag in the Olympics. Sharapova has develop her own brand of candy and sweets called Sugarpova.  If ever she ventures to the Philippines, she would probably call her candies, “Sarapova”.

Dennis Rodman

Is perhaps one of the most-hated person in sports.  NBA officials couldn’t remember how many times he got thrown out of the game for fighting.  He helped the Detroit Pistons to two NBA titles and three more with the Chicago Bulls.  He was Defensive Player of the Year and All-Star twice, before retiring in 2006.  He got involved with singer Madonna and married Carmen Electra in 1998, divorcing her after nine days. He said he was drunk then.  He hit the headline anew in 2014 when he played in North Korea to celebrate another weirdo’s birthday Kim Jong –Un.  To promote his book, “Bad as I Wanna Be”, Rodman wore a wedding dress and said Michael Jordan would also look good in a gown.  If Jordan could speak Cebuano, he could also have said “Wa ka ma-boang, ikaw ra diha”.  One of Rodman’s dreams is to skydive Manhattan of Fifth Avenue, butt naked.  I met Rodman’s father, Philogen when Nike organized the first 3-on-3 basketball tournament at SM Megamall.  Phil used to be a US Air Force personnel at Clark Air Base in Pampanga.  In an interview, Dennis said he hated his father for abandoning her mother. Phil got married to a Filipina in Angeles City. 

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