|Going for Gold (standard:drama, 2413 words)|
|Author: Barndog44||Added: Aug 22 2002||Views/Reads: 1914/1356||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|An Olympic gold medal hopeful does the dirty on his coach and gets his come-uppance.|
Pete leaned forward with his hands on his knees and fought for his breath for the first time that morning. When his wind returned he glanced across at his coach who was studying the stop watch. “How did I do?” he asked. It was a rhetorical question, he already knew the answer. “Not bad. Three fifty-one and a bit,” said Jerry with a studied nonchalance. Jerry was not one for over-egging the cake when it came to enthusiasm, he always said an ego which needed to be massaged was not quite big enough for a real winner. “You reckon I can do it?” “You have all the ammunition. There's no one better qualified to take the gold.” “And the world record?” “It's not beyond you.” Pete grinned. Just seven days hence, he would be flying halfway across the world to represent his country in the Olympic Games in that Cordon Bleu event, the fifteen hundred metres. Ever since childhood, whilst his peers had pursued more relaxed ways of self-fulfilment, he had been working, training all hours and in all conditions, pounding the road, driving himself to incredible limits, for three-and-a-half minutes of fame which would give him a chance to earn himself a place in that elite group of middle-distance athletes who had achieved both Olympic gold and a world record in the same race. And now that chance was imminent. He knew he had the one quality which was just as necessary as physical fitness – self-belief. His was a confidence which bordered on arrogance, and he knew – absolutely knew beyond doubt, that the gold medal was his for the taking, barring sickness or injury. And, if God was kind to him, and the conditions were right, the world record would fall to him too. The two men sat down on the track and Jerry unzipped his sportsbag a little. It was a bigger one than usual, and Pete wondered if he had something special planned for after the training session. Jerry took out two cans of Coke. He handed one to Pete who snapped off the ring-pull and downed it in one. “What's the bag for, Jerry? You've not taken up cricket, have you?” “Oh, I'm taking Polly to a country hotel for a couple of days.” “Just a break before the big event, eh?” Pete wondered if he should have felt jealous, but he didn't. “Something like that,” Jerry grinned. It was an enigmatic grin, too, Pete thought, as though he knew something but wasn't prepared to tell. Pete had noticed that Jerry had seemed a bit quiet all morning, even for him, but he put it down to nerves over the event which was to be the biggest ever in both their careers. In fact, Jerry stood to gain just as much as Pete if things went right. To be coach of an Olympic gold-medallist in perhaps the most prestigious track event of all, was no mean achievement, and he would thereafter be in huge demand by lots of other hopefuls. Pete knew that he should have felt a pang of guilt for what he had done to his coach, but if there had ever been any regret, he had managed to stifle it with the consolation that he was going to make his mentor famous and quite probably extremely wealthy to boot. So Pete was content, and his fling with Polly, Jerry's young and beautiful wife did not trouble him over-much. In any case, he had not seen her for several days, and would be unlikely to for some time yet, such was the present demand on his time. Perhaps after the Games, they would have grown apart and and no harm done. But Pete hoped not. Jerry was too old for a young, vibrant woman like Polly, and to be honest, Pete wondered what she had ever seen in him. Although Pete had lots of respect for his expertise and dedication, he felt that Jerry's personality was lacking in some respects. Polly had once said that her husband could sometimes Click here to read the rest of this story (212 more lines)
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