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George Donatello


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Joined Feb 18 2014
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MALE
73 years old
United States
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I ran track and cross county at Clearwater and went to the University of Florida on a partial track and academic scholarship in 1961. I lettered in cross county and track as a freshman and did the same as a sophomore as a Gator. Then in 1963 I came down with mono (which turned out to be IMG a rare immunoglobulin disease that I still have) which brought an abrupt halt to my track and cross county days.

The highlights of my career at Florida were having the opportunity to run with Bill Goodyear, Rick Haley, Jim Brown, and being mentored by my old friend from Clearwater, Jim O'Donnell. Coach Walsh and Beard were also great inspirations. When I arrived from Clearwater as the District 10 half mile champion (only because Haley ran something else that day) at 1:59, I though I was going to be the next great Olympian. Jim Brown and 3 or 4 other Gator's let me know that was not going to happen. I ended up running the mile, two mile and cross country and the rest is history! 

One of my fondest memories dealing with the coaches.....was my request for a Russian language tutor that I had to make to Coach Graves. I got an appointment to see him and plead my case. I explained that I was carrying 18 hrs. (calculus, p chem, core courses, ROTC, and Russian) and that we were working out for at least 3-4 hours per day and that I was having a tough time with Russian. He immediately wanted to know the name of the athletic counselor that gave me that schedule and when I told him that it was an academic counselor who did this he simply laughed and asked me to tutor a couple of football guys! Finally, I don't think Coach Graves had any sympathy for a track guy, but finally agreed to arrange for 3 hours of tutoring....I still failed Russian! 

I hope that all of my friends from Florida are doing well....I'm a retired property tax consultant, married, and live just west of Atlanta in Villa Rica, GA

 

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