I am just going to throw this out there... Cancer SUCKS
The last few months have been extremely sad for the Utah Olympic Park (UOP). First if you are new to this blog the UOP is my family. I have worked there since the summer after my freshman year of college. It has been the best place to grow up and find out who I am and who I want to be in the future. I couldn't have asked for better people to help me along the journey to figure all of that out. Given that we are a family at the UOP that explains why this has been a really hard few months.
Earlier this summer we lost Warren Allen. Warren was the best park host that the UOP ever had or ever will have. He knew everything about everything and was so motivated by the Olympic Movement that it was contagious. Warren was also amazing at everything he did, from being a pioneer in the sport of aerial skiing (ballet skiing) to bowling back to back perfect games, one with his left hand and one with the right hand! Warren was an amazing man and I don't know what the UOP will be like without him.
This week I got the news that track manager David Dinger, who also was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, is in the last stages of his life. When I think about Dave and him not being around it instantly brings tears to my eyes, not only because he has been a huge supporter of mine but because he has to amazing little boys that are losing a great dad. Dave has helped me in any way that I have needed whenever I needed it. He was instrumental in helping me to be the jury assistant for the 2009 FIBT World Cup in Park City, which lead to my internship at the USOC, where I discovered for sure that Olympic sport is where my passion and future lies.
Dave was also instrumental in my brother's recovery from drug addiction. Josh applied for a track crew job after de decided he was ready to get his life back together. Dave hired him and even though Josh had a few times where he had to miss a significant amount of work at a really inopportune time, Dave had faith in Josh. I truly believe that because of that faith and the chance(s) that Dave extended to Josh, he is now on the right path (of course Josh's will to get better had a lot to do with that as well). It's hard to express in words, but the faith that Dave had in Josh wasn't something that he was getting outside of our family. Josh's whole world had basically told him that anything he did was wrong and that he would not be able to do anything with his life because of his past mistakes. Through his actions Dave told Josh that he could be a leader and could get his life back on track. I will be forever grateful to Dinger for that!
Not only did he change my life, but he helped my brother out of a very difficult time!
Check out this awesome VIDEO that some of the bobsled/skeleton athletes from around the country made thanking Dave for changing their lives as well...
So if you see me and I look like I am about to burst into tears, I probably am... It's a sad time