Doc Patton is one of our favorite athletes. Nice piece by USATF’s Katie Landry! Don’t miss watching the Penn Relays!
Elite Athlete Spotlight – Doc Patton
and World Championships medalist Darvis “Doc” Patton went to bed one
night, and when he woke up the next day, he was old. Doc didn’t look any
different, didn’t feel any different, and he certainly didn’t slow
down, but he suddenly became known to the press as a veteran athlete,
experienced, the elder statesman, or a dozen other euphemisms for old.
was thinking, ‘When did I become the old person?’ But I love it. You
can say old or experienced, but I don’t feel it, and if you were looking
at my times you wouldn’t know that I’m 33,” Patton said. “As long as I
am having a good time and competing at a high level and having fun, I’m
going to keep going.”
May of last year, Doc was running at a meet in Jamaica when he felt a
nagging sports hernia flair up that derailed the rest of his season.
Some may have gotten the false impression that his days on the track
were done, but Doc said, “Retiring never came in my mind. That wasn’t
how I wanted to go out. I had more motivation to come back than to
going through surgery to correct the issue that had been troubling him
since 2006, and building back through rehab, Doc is back and feeling
stronger, faster and fresher than before his injury. While not much has
changed on the track since his last full season, there has been a world
of change in Doc’s life off the track. Doc and his wife Crystal, had a
baby girl, Dakota, in June of 2009, and now Doc is facing his first full
season as a father.
going to be tough when I have to leave. No matter how manly you are,
having two women crying when you leave will break you down,” Patton
admits. “But Dakota’s to the point that she’ll point at me when she sees
me on TV, and she’ll get to watch the meets from home.”
once Doc steps on the track, or has he commonly refers to it as “the
office,” he is all business and his thoughts are singularly focused on
the task at hand. “The track is where I do my work. I get excited
because it is me versus seven other people, and it is my hard work
versus theirs,” Doc said.
Saturday, when Doc steps on the track of Franklin Field for USA vs. the
World, he may not be thinking of where he came from in the past year,
how many years he has been competing or how his life has changed since
his last full season, but knowing what he’s come back from gives his
fans and his support team that much more to cheer for.
is always gonna be special to me,” Doc admits.”The whole atmosphere and
energy make it fun to compete. If that doesn’t get you excited, nothing
About USA Track & Field
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