When the executives at NBC first heard about Mechelle Lewis (left, with baton) and her path to the Olympics, my guess is that they probably started doing backflips. The last few years of her life have played out like a made-for-tv movie, the kind of story NBC loves to feature during its coverage of the Games. Hearing Lewis' tale though, would make anybody want to do some crazy things.
If you get a chance, you should read Mike Klingaman's great article in The Baltimore Sun today. In it, he describes how Lewis gave up her job as an account executive to chase her Olympic dream. It's a tale that everybody can appreciate.
"For three years, my exercise had consisted mostly of hailing cabs and running after trains," the former account executive said.
She hired a fitness coach who took one look and shook his head. "Come back after you've had it," he said.
"Had what?" Lewis asked.
"I'm not pregnant, just fat," she said.
Lewis shed the weight, but sprained a hamstring during training which almost ended her comeback.
"I was hurt, I'd quit my job and I had no money," she said. "I thought, 'Where am I? What am I doing here?' "I'd go to the Baptist church, to pray and to cry."
Stories like this one are what makes the Olympics so special.