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allez tyler

Tyler Hamilton won the men's cycling time trial in the Olympics today, and nearly made us cry with his dedication of the event to Tugboat, his golden retriever who died during the Tour de France.

The NYT leads with injuries and Tugboat, perhaps Hamilton's key definers save courage and being a nice guy:

Tyler Hamilton had bruises splotched all over his back, painful souvenirs of a Tour de France gone terribly wrong.

Hamilton also had a red dog tag affixed to the inside of his helmet today, the memory of his golden retriever.

Hamilton had to pull out of cycling's most prestigious race in the 13th stage after a horrific crash. His golden retriever, Tugboat, a constant companion, also died during the Tour.

Hamilton erased his personal agony today, becoming the first American cyclist to win a gold medal in a road race.

'This gold medal is everything,' said Hamilton, who covered the 29.8 mile course in 57 minutes 31.74 seconds. 'I don't feel any hurt from last month now. Winning a gold medal for the United States of America is the best feeling in the world."

And he deserves it. This, later in the story:

Tugboat had died of cancer during the Tour. His wife, Haven, rushed the dog from their house in Spain to Hamilton on the Tour stop so he could say good-bye. Before Hamilton left for Greece, Haven put a note into her husband's luggage to inspire him.

"My dog Tugboat," Hamilton said, repeating Haven's note, "he gave me wings today."

I will pretend there are not tears in my eyes now. And go pet George -- or um, give him his meds in snausages. (Healthy, happy George -- thankfully.)


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