Spivey Happy He's Still in the Running
Byline: Mark Alesia
ATLANTA - Jim Spivey walked through the Olympic Stadium tunnel Wednesday night, a name out of the past.
"Do it for the old guys," Spivey later recalled somebody yelling.
There were 41 runners in the 5,000 meters. Spivey's oldest competitor was four years younger than him.
At 36, Spivey, who lives in Glen Ellyn, did go out and do it for the "old" guys. In his third Olympics, he qualified for tonight's semifinals with a time of 13:53.16.
It was just the first of three rounds, and he probably won't make it into the finals. But that's not the point. The point is that he's here, with his family, and he's enjoying it. Smelling the roses, for once.
"We went to watch track on Sunday and Monday, and I never would have done that in the past," Spivey said. "I went in the pool with my son."
He flew back to Glen Ellyn the day after the opening ceremonies. He returned last Friday with his wife and son - by car, an eight-hour trip.
"The (Olympic committee) only pays for one trip," Spivey said. "So I flew down for the opening ceremonies and back. I think that was the wise thing to do. My coach, Ken Popejoy, came out to the track twice and it helped a lot."
But the trip took its toll.
"I kind of hurt my hip, driving the car for so long," Spivey said. "I've been really tight in here. I didn't run on Saturday, Sunday, Monday. I was encouraged that it responded tonight, but we'll see how it is tomorrow. That'll be the key."
He did his workouts at Wheaton College, feeling good about how things were progressing.
"I had the best workout of the whole season last Wednesday," Spivey said. …