athletics: \'running is like a safety valve. it helped keep me sane and it gave me a goal\'
As a blind runner, Bob Matthews will be accompanied by a tour guide tomorrow night in Athens to defend his Paralympic 10,000 m champion. But he will feel the presence of others. His wife, Kath, died suddenly in last November, and he dedicated his performance at the upcoming seventh Paralympic Games, his unparalleled career. As a blind runner, Bob Matthews will be accompanied by a tour guide tomorrow night in Athens to defend his Paralympic 10,000 m champion. But he will feel the presence of others. His wife, Kath, died suddenly in last November, and he dedicated his performance at the upcoming seventh Paralympic Games, his unparalleled career. Matthews, 43, has 22 world records, eight Paralympic gold medals, four silver and one bronze, not to mention the MBE and honors degree at Warwick University. However, he was determined to receive further returns from the 10,000 and 5,000 incidents, as he found that the woman he married nine years ago had died in the house where she slept in which they shared in Limington She\'s 38 years old. year- She looks healthy, but her brain stem cyst. \"My wife is very supportive of me,\" Matthews said . \" \"She always knows a lot about this training and she often comes out by bike with me. She made me feel like I could keep improving. Even now, I feel OK. \"My immediate response after her death was: \'What is the point? What is the meaning of life? All these things. But after a while, I thought, \"What does Keith want me to do? Obviously this is to keep running. \"Helping him achieve this ambition is Kath introducing his guide nine years ago, Paul Harwood, a former Army PT coach who is now an expert coach at Ryton Police Academy. The 33-year- The old father of two children, completed 150- Last year\'s Sables mile marathon in the Sahara desert, with Matthews on the wristinch cord. But the connection between the two is far more than that. \"I was in shock for three or four days after Kath\'s death,\" Matthews recalled . \". \"But then Paul convinced me to go out for our first run. Running like a safety valve. Over the past nine months it has helped me to stay sane and, most importantly, it has given me a goal. I have to find another one after the Paralympics, but now I have some goals. \"Harwood also spent his year because of Matthews\'s new ambition. \"What happened at Kath was the blue bolt,\" Harwood recalls . \". \"I can\'t believe it. When I met Bob, I thought it was important for us to go out and run again because that\'s what we did. How else can you overcome this situation? When I feel stressed, I always find that running is the best. \"My goal is to keep Bob as best as possible and get a medal if possible. But as long as he does his best, I\'m fine. \"Matthews\'s efforts will be supported by 14 friends and family members with a specially printed T- A shirt with Kath\'s name and date on the front, and a Braille version with her name on the left breast. Everyone announced behind the back: team Kath. The two men will wear pink ribbons hanging on their vests for the competition. \"It\'s pink,\" Matthews said . \" \"This is the color of our bridesmaid dress and the color of the tie she picked for me. \"However, when it comes to the game, Matthews will try to erase the idea of his late wife from his mind. \"I will switch to running mode,\" he said . \". \"I really can\'t focus on anything else. When I think of her while running, I get these emotional attacks and find it hard to breathe. Since then, I have solved this problem with the help of a sports psychologist. \"When he faced the Kenyan Henry waryork, who beat him to the 5,000 m title in Sydney, he needed to evoke all his experience, in two games in Athens, who is the most popular, though some people question whether he has a useful vision. Matthews was born with degraded eyes and started running shortly after being blind 24 years ago. He played the T11 for completely blind people. Those who do not see the shape but have some perception of the light. \"When I was eight years old, I was able to read a car number card from 25 yards,\" he said . \". \"But when I was 20, I didn\'t see anything useful. It must be a good thing in some ways, I am not born blind because I can imagine things like tracks or roadside. When Paul and I were training, he would describe the cornfields we ran through, how the wind blew through them, and how the wheat rippled. I was able to see this kind of thing in my mind. \"For now, however, his focus is on the track at the Olympic Stadium, where he plays tomorrow and Friday. \"Keith will be in Athens, just like she is in Sydney,\" he said . \". \"Running seems to be an obvious thing to remember her. I think she\'s still helping me.