Monday, May 25, 2009

Gregg Zivney and the competitive athlete... What do they have in common?

Absolutely nothing.

Steve Larsen, 39, accomplished endurance athlete - a world-class mountain biker, road cyclist and triathlete - died suddenly during a training session in the presence of 40 other runners on Wednesday.

"I don't know a fitter human being," fellow triathlete Matt Lieto told the Bend Bulletin.

Larsen's cycling career began in the 1980s. He ran the Ironman World Championships triathlon in Hawaii in October and finished sixth in the Lowe’s XTERRA West Cup at Lake Las Vegas on May 2nd.

Other top ranked athletes who have died suddenly while training: marathon runner Jim Fixx (1984), Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman (1986), former basketball star Pete Maravich (1988), college basketball star Hank Gathers (1990), professional basketball All-Star Reggie Lewis (1993), and Olympic figure skating champion Sergei Grinkov (1995).

Larsen leaves behind his wife, Carrie, of 16 years. He had five children.

Donations to the Steve Larsen Memorial Fund may be made at any Umpqua Bank branch or online at

On the otherhand...

Gregg Zivney, 52, dedicated smoker, very social drinker - who has never exercised a day in his life – is still alive and awoke happily in the presence of a previously enjoyed companion on Wednesday.

“He continues to thrive, despite his bad habits”, says his physician Dr Paul Johnson.

Zivney's smoking habit began in the late 1960s. He was the 1st arrival at the liquor store on Saturday, May 2nd.

Other top ranked athletes who have died suddenly while enjoying a smoke and single malt scotch: None.

Zivney has no survivors. He is still alive.

Donations to the Gregg Zivney Bach-nal and Beerfest Fund may be made at any Bend Liquor & Smokes branch.