… REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT, 1996 … SENATE MAJORITY LEADER 1985 87, 1995 96 … U. S. SENATOR FROM KANSAS, 1969 1996 You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat. CHRIST Y MATHE WSON, Hall of Fame pitcher, New York Giants BOB DOLE 49 Iwas a standout player in many sports in high schoolfootball, basketball, and running the quarter milebut when I got to the University of Kansas, it was tough to realize that I wasn’t good enough to play football or basketball, which left only track. Still, I had that work ethic to carry me through. It was my high school football coach, George Baxter, who got the most out of me. He saw a 6’1″, one hundred eighty-pound solid end who was a good guy, a whip who could be a leader for him on the field. I also had a basketball coach, Harold Elliot, who saw some leadership qualities in me and let me know I would go a long way in whatever I did. What made this special for me was that he knew I wasn’t going to be an All- American basketball player, but he still took an interest in me as a person.
It meant a lot to me then and it means a lot to me now. OFF TO WAR I was planning to go off to World War II and come back and carry on in sports in some capacity and then go to medical school. After being wounded in Italy, I knew that dream was done. Bob was shot in the upper right back and bled for nine hours, and wound up with an arm that was almost unrecognizable. Going home and living with my arm in that condition was never easy, but throughout my rehab I was able to call on my sports work ethic to get me through. At Walter Reed Medical Center, they would tell me to do eight repetitions of a particular exercise and I would do ten. They’d say do fifteen and I’d do twenty. This is the same way I was taught to compete in sports: always overdeliver.
My training in track and football helped make the brutal transition more tolerable, and it made the rehab fly by. FINAL THOUGHT I would like to have been a better player, but in the end, simply playing sports made me a better man. Let me also add that my days as an athlete helped make me a tireless campaigner. I loved going long days on little 50 IT’S HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME sleep. One time, in 1996, at the age of seventy-three, I did ninety-six straight hours of campaigning. My staff was amazed, but I wasn’t. I was a track guy who constantly trained, and if there is one thing I knew I’d always have, it was endurance. MY WRAP Senator Dole was a much better athlete than he confessed to, and it’s the drive that he freely admits that helped get him up out of that hospital bed. He is a shining example of why you play and how you should compete to get maximum results.
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