During the next week, New Woodstock resident and recipient of a kidney transplant, Phillip Hamilton, will return to America after competing at the 2011 World Transplant Games in G teborg, Sweden.
Hamilton is one of just three participating athletes from New York state and 60 total athletes representing the United States of America. About 2,500 competitors from more than 60 countries will join Team USA in Scandinavia for the games.
"I am aware I am part of a very small, fortunate group of healthy, transplanted citizens who are able to make the trip abroad, and I am painfully aware that none of my Team CNY teammates are accompanying me to Europe," Hamilton said. "The trip is an expensive one, and almost cost prohibitive. I will give my level best effort to represent the community, my CNY teammates and the United States with pride and respectful dignity."
The World Transplant Games are in their 18th year of competition, having started in 1978 in the United Kingdom. This year, the games are being held from June 17 to 24.
Hamilton will be competing in the 200-meter and 400-meter foot races, as well as the long jump, high jump and a team sport known as "floorball," which he describes as a cross between hockey, basketball and lacrosse.
Hamilton spent much of the past 10 months fixated on training for this competition. His days began at 5:30 a.m. lifting weights and running on the treadmills at Caz Fitness before heading to work, where he manages the College Connections Initiative for Central New York.
After 5 p.m., Hamilton could be seen running and practicing the long jump at the Cazenovia High School track. To alternate his workout regimen, Hamilton would often trail-run at Highland Forest and Toggenburg Mountain.
The World Transplant Games are held biennially, and 2013 competition will be held during late July in Durban, South Africa. The U.S. transplant games are also held biennially, however, the 2012 competition has been suspended due to a shortage of financial and staff resources according to the National Kidney Foundation.