Feb. 23, 2009

Danny Kassap

Back in September Danny Kassap, a friend of mine who is a world-class 2:14 marathoner, collapsed from a ventricular fibrillation at around the 5K mark of the Berlin Marathon. He was in a medical coma for two days after his collapse, his life saved by a spectator who performed CPR. Danny's collapse was triggered by a cold virus that had lodged in his heart muscles, a freak occurrence that has probably not caused any long term weakness.

His story was the topic of this past weekend's broadcast of The Inside Track on CBC Radio One. You can download it here. He's hoping to return to training soon, still targeting the 2012 Olympics.

Danny faced medical expenses from his treatment in Germany that for him were crippling, but local runners rallied to help cover his costs. Always pay for travel health insurance!

Update: Yeah, I watched the Oscars on Sunday night... I got a laugh out of Ben Stiller's impression of Joaquin Phoenix's new dazed rapping "Unabomber" persona. Hugh Jackman did a good job hosting and the first "low budget" dance number was fun, but then it reverted to the conventional "big" style. It was great to see Slumdog Millionaire do so well. Having a group of past winners on stage introducing the acting nominees was an interesting decision, but it ended up being too fawning.

Spoiler alert! Speaking of films, in recent weeks I saw both Slumdog Millionaire and The Reader. Both were enjoyable stories with great performances and style. I'd been wanting to see Slumdog Millionaire ever since it got so much buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and finally saw it at a friend's place on a dubious quality pirated DVD. It really captured the daily struggles of life in the Mumbai slums, and the romantic story line was compelling. The Reader was mainly enjoyable for the actor's performances; Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz, David Kross as the young Michael Berg and Ralph Fiennes as the adult Michael. I have to say the pivotal plot twist of her accepting jail for a war crime that she wasn't particularly responsible for rather than reveal her illiteracy was a bit unbelievable.

Listening to: Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye Cherry from Desireless.

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