Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Dunvi’s Life Journey

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."

I thought of Jennifer Abel, who finished fourth in Rio twice, then hard worker Marc-Antoine Gagnon, fourth in Sochi, and then fourth in Pyeongchang. I also thought of Alex Harvey, who finished fourth over the same distance as Dunphy, but in cross-country skiing, at the last Winter Games.

I am not a political scientist, but I am convinced that it is more difficult and cruel to take fourth place on the electoral ballot twice than in the Olympic event and, in particular, in the last 50 km walk in the history of the Olympic Games.

Then I wondered how I would have approached the matter with Dunphy, and what words I should have chosen to know his disappointment, and most cruelly this time, in regard to the man.

We are like that, journalists. We think too much, sometimes too much, and things struggle under the hood. On Friday, I thought nothing of it, because Dunphy finally achieved the unimaginable, even if he still ceded tens of meters to Spaniard Mark Tour a kilometer from the goal.

The Canadian body was about to leave him. He wanted to speed up, but he couldn’t. This is where we saw his famous toughness of mind. Thinking of his family, loved ones, and above all, his grandmother, he was able to convince his muscles that they still had a bit of strength left.

Then the phase faltered and Danvi believed him. Crossing the finish line in third, the redhead cried his joy and relief after having made the race of his life, the most important day.

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Posted a few feet away, my team and I experienced some amazing moments of emotion. Dunphy fell on his back, pumping his arms in the air. Then he stood up and shouted again right in front of the camera.

Evan Dunphy

Photo: Radio Canada/Jeffrey Tam

It’s hard to imagine the hell he just went through: 50 kilometers on foot, at a speed of about 13 kilometers per hour, in sweltering heat, almost inhuman conditions. But Dunphy and his team were well prepared.

This was followed by a series of hugs. First to German silver medalist Jonathan Hilbert, then he began to cry in the arms of a Swedish coach. The same scenario in the position of walking coach for Canada Jerry Dragomir.

Then a rare frustration. Dunphy wanted to cover himself with a Canadian flag. It was the team doctor who hit him, but he was nowhere to be found.

Science and the Doctor are found, Dunphy’s smile too. Few Olympic athletes cheer their countrymen as much as walkers can. I saw him love and care for her.

A sport that remains unpopular

In an interview, Dunphy has never stopped smiling, except to swallow ecstasy at the mention of his grandmother, his great inspiration, who passed away in 2019. The walk is real, wonderful, touching, and she’s never been afraid to share her feelings.

Sometimes his Twitter thread is coarser than sandpaper.

Once again, after his ordeal, he deplored the IOC’s decision to withdraw the 50km race from the upcoming Games. It will be replaced by a mixed test whose parameters are not yet defined.

If I want to betray my age, this is where I want to remind you that breakdancing will make its debut at the Paris Games in 2024. I won’t.

I’ll never make you think this isn’t a good show, Evan Dunphy told me in an interview earlier this summer. He pretty much repeated the same words, but with more conviction at Friday’s press conference.

However, we have not yet seen a demonstration in Japan to preserve this event, however it is very popular here. Nor in Canada, for that matter. For many people, Olympic walking is more often than not a sport that gets ridiculed.

The maniac in pajamas, the nickname for Infantry Marcel Jobin, will not be blacklisted in 2021. Again on Friday, in the midst of the ordeal, an acquaintance responded to one of my photos posted on social networks by writing that his children were cramps In the living room he watches the pedestrians swinging.

They did not invent anything.

I still see François Massicot mimicking Guillaume Leblanc in the TVA studio at the Barcelona Games, under the eyes of Liz Payet who laughed to tears.

However, in Sapporo, no one laughed about the track. Combined with their caricatured approach, these athletes draw from the depths of their resources to keep moving forward, in the strict rules of walking while all the indicators on the human dashboard scream at them to stop.

I will never forget the design I felt at Dunvi in ​​Sapporo. Nor the courage of Matteo Bellodo, 45 more than 30 minutes of the winner. Keeper’s rear let him down at 20km, but there was no doubt he wouldn’t finish the race as he had in Rio, five years ago.

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I texted my girlfriend before the race and told her I’d do everything to get to the finish,” Bilodo, an accountant by training, said in the interview area. I slowed down to make sure I finished, even if it meant ending up on my knees.

Fortunately, he didn’t have to, but he struggled with the heat. Each time he passed in front of us–it happened 25 times–his face writhed more and more, but it never made us doubt that he would stop.

He will not make the front pages of magazines when he returns to Quebec, but forever, he will be able to say that he completed the last 50 km walk in Olympic history.

Like an old boxer telling us about his old fights that lasted 15 rounds.

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