Sport: The Dr. Meriwether Saga

Baltimore. July 1970. Dr. Delano Meriwether, a 27-year-old hematologist, is stretched out on his bed watching a telecast of a track meet between the U.S. and France. He stares intently at the 100-meter dash, turns to his wife Myrtle and says, "Hey, I think I can beat those guys." Myrtle nods and mutters, "Sure, honey."

Eugene, Ore. June 1971. Meriwether, improbably garbed in gold swim trunks, a white hospital shirt and gold-and-white-striped suspenders, steps into the starting blocks for the 100-yd. dash in the A.A.U. championships. The gun sounds. Meriwether streaks for the tape with great, loping strides and wins, in the...

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