The Highlights

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(This is an excerpt from Assisted by John Stockton and Kerry L. Pickett.)

“ One of the highlights of the whole trip, for me, was draping the medal on Nada and the boys. Clearly it meant a lot to each of them—but to some more than others. Houston, at four, handled the medal almost reverently, seemingly understanding some of the deeper meaning behind the gold pendant. As he passed the medal on to Michael, Houston seemed to understand that his little brother wouldn’t be quite so careful. He tried to coach him on a little delicacy. The advice went unheeded. Michael immediately began twirling the ribbon that held the medal around his finger. Before anyone could react, he shot it toward a steel cabinet handle. The medal-on-metal collision put a nick in both. The object of my dreams had been damaged only minutes from the podium. After a nervous pause, as everyone waited for my reaction, we all exhaled together. At three and a half, Michael obviously didn’t mean to damage the medal, and he had provided me with a story I would tell for years. The nick has come to represent the best of Olympic memories. We draped the damaged goods over one-year-old David and snapped some pictures so he could someday feel included".

(John Stockton and Kerry L. Pickett, Assisted: An Autobiography [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2013], 224–25).

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