Darvis “Doc” Patton already has two Olympic Games and a silver medal to his credit. He is also a two-time world champion. But at age 34, the Lake Highlands High School and TCU graduate is running for redemption in London.
The Beijing Olympics were a huge disappointment for Patton. He finished eighth in the final of the 100 meters behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt. Then, in the relay, he and Tyson Gay dropped the baton. Team USA didn’t even finish.
“The first thing I thought of was, ‘I let my country down,'” Patton said.
The run of heartbreak continued. Patton repeated his finish from Beijing at the 2009 World Championship in Berlin.
“I finished eighth place again — again,” he said.
And once again, the United States was disqualified in the relay.
The 2011 World Championship in Korea was even worse. A collision with another runner sent him tumbling to the track, shattering his shoulder.
“All I remember is being upside down on my head,” Patton said.
Surgery soon followed.
Through it all, Patton turned to his family for support.
“I’m there for good, bad, ugly, in between –especially the ugly,” said his wife, Crystal.
Patton also found joy in the birth of their daughter, Dakota, who is now 3 years old.
“If I’m sore, you read something bad about you. Once you hear, ‘Daddy,’ it kind of makes it all go away,” he said.
And 2012 has been a much better year for Patton. His times are fast.
“I’m doing better than I’ve ever done in my career,” he said.
Coach Monte Stratton agreed.
“Doc is doing great,” Stratton said. “He continues to amaze me.”
Patton must still make the U.S. team for London. The Olympic Trials start Friday in Oregon, and Patton said he is confident about his chances.
“I feel so good in my own skin,” he said. “I’m looking forward to representing the United States once again.”