HARTMANN - international

Tribute to friends

Having my own website gives me the great pleasure of expressing my thoughts on words to those close to me.

I have singled out two people whose lives have had a profound effect on mine.

 

Kim McDonald

Kim McDonald

Kim McDonald, who sadly died in November 2001, was a great friend whose loss is felt immensely. Kim gave me the confidence to excel as a physical therapist and he entrusted me with treating the many world class athletes he represented.

Tribute to Kim McDonald in Athletics Weekly, November 21, 2001

Gerard Hartmann, the sports injury specialist who treated many of McDonald's athletes spoke with McDonald a couple of days before his death.

"He was enjoying a holiday in Brisbane and that morning was in splendid form having completed a 90km cycle in training. Since a disc injury to his back over a year ago which curtailed his running, Kim took up road cycling with renewed vigour.

Kim was an exceptional human being with the unique ability to empower athletes to perform and excel beyond levels they themselves had believed they were capable of.

One recent example of Kim's utter belief in his athletes was Noah Ngeny's victory in the 1,500m Olympic final in Sydney. In the weeks leading up to the Games, Kim told me time and time again that Ngeny would win gold and beat favourite Hicham El Guerrouj.

Kim had a special part to play in the development of Kenyan running. He gave many a young Kenyan a start and a chance and from 1985 he represented over 200 Kenyan athletes.

Kim was a legendary figure. He was agent, manager extraordinaire, coach to a large number of athletes he represented and advisor to others. To me he was an inspiration, a larger than life figure, a mentor and friend.

 

Frank O' Mara

Frank O' Mara (Ireland)

2 time World Indoor 3km Champion, 3 time Olympian

I grew up in Limerick City competing in athletics and training with Frank O' Mara. Fortunately, I am one year his junior so at under age competitions we never raced. We both went to the University of Arkansas where Frank excelled and progressed to world class level.

Frank is the person I have to thank for identifying my talent as a physical therapist. Indeed, he is the one responsible for encouraging me to study physical therapy. Frank was the first world class athlete I treated. In fact, he was the first World Champion - Olympian I ever treated.

Thank you Frank, for encouraging me to persue a career in physical therapy, for allowing me to treat you and hone my skills in the early days and more so for directing many athletes to me when I started out.

Friends forever,

Gerard