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My Field of Daisies

Barbara Cramer; 1976; Denver Colorado

I looked up into the black, cloud-filled skies and thought to myself; this is it, my last chance to be the athlete, the gold medalist I have always dreamed of being. I got set, placed the shot put under my chin, took a deep breath, and with a grunt, I let the shot put fly. It landed past the international record marker. I had done it. I had won Olympic Gold.

As my coaches unstrapped me from the steel plate holding me and my manual wheelchair in the ground, and before I moved off to where my family stood, clapping and cheering for me, I remembered thirty years earlier, when as they strapped steel and leather to my legs, and told my parents that I would never, ever walk again, and that a wheelchair would be my only way of getting around. I looked up, thanked God and said, "I knew I could do it! I knew from that day in 1951 when everyone told me my life was over, that, no, that some day I would run once again through fields of daisies, and I had found my field of daisies - maybe not running or walking, but by becoming a world class athlete. That first Olympic Gold medal was my field of daisies." I went on to win a second Olympic gold 4 years later.


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