View Full Version : Is Alberto Salazar Crazy, or What Exactly?

October 28th, 2007, 11:29 PM
From the SportsGeezer web site (http://www.sportsgeezer.com).
A link (embedded in the paragraph below) to a very interesting profile of Alberto Salazar.

October 28, 2007
Is Alberto Salazar Crazy, or What Exactly?

Having just finished John Brant's magnificent and disturbing profile of Alberto Salazar in the New York Times Play magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/sports/playmagazine/28salazar.html), Geezer is trying to figure out if the story should be read as inspiration or admonition. Who knew that Salazar went fourteen minutes without a heartbeat after a "temporarily fatal" heart attack last summer? Who knew that in 1987 Salazar made a religious pilgrimage to a church in what is now Bosnia, where he witnessed the miraculous conversion of the chain on his rosary beads from silver to gold? Who knew that Salazar's father once hid Fidel Castro in his Havana attic, and later took part in the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion? Who knew that Alberto Salazar attended the same high school that Geezer's kids attended? (OK, Geezer was aware of that). Note to people who still read books: When you've read this, you can read more about Salazar in John Brant's Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon.

October 29th, 2007, 12:11 AM
"Crazy." Or passionate, perhaps. The line is very fine between the two, but "crazy" would suggest "out of control," unable to function. Salazar tends to live his religion as much as his running and his coaching in the "red zone." This can be risky--but his running, coaching, and religion all seem to grow out of that risk-taking, passionate personality. And yet he is definitely in control of himself, has a pretty clear vision of what he is trying to achieve and is single-minded about achieving it. At the same time, he recognizes his limits, not taking on any new runners to coach, which suggests that he's gaining some kind of perspective from his illness. I doubt any religious experience will change the basic core of who he is, just bend it in a different direction.

But to be sure, a fascinating "study." I've for a long time admired his ability to focus so intensely on the things that matter to him and all he's achieved as a runner and coach.