Paralympics: Davis adds three golds to haul
Muffy Davis figured she'd start a family, take a break from competitive athletics and lead a normal life after she won three silver medals in Alpine skiing at the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City.
She did slow down, for a minute.
Davis decided to take up handcycling to get in shape after the birth of her daughter, Elle, in December 2008. The idea was to get prepared to compete in the Salt Lake City Marathon.
She did more than compete.
"I lit the caldron in 2002, and I thought I had a great career," Davis said. "I loved getting out on the race course and competing. That's where I feel like myself."
The whisper to give handcycling more than a passing glance and a run at summer Olympic greatness was cemented when she entered her first international completion in 2010 and won.
That's when the 2012 Olympics really started calling.
"For me, it's the opportunity to push myself as hard as I can," Davis said. "When I'm training and when I'm competing, that's when I feel like I'm most alive.
Davis, who turns 40 this year, never was better than she was in London. She took gold in all three disciplines.
"I always knew I had a gold in me," she said.
She remembers scanning the crowd for her husband, Jeff Burley, and their daughter during the awards ceremonies.
"As Muffy approached, I could see her scanning the crowd for us, and actually we were able to be right up front," Jeff said. "Our 3-year-old daughter was chanting 'USA' until she realized it was her mom she was cheering for, and the 'USA' turned to 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.' "
Davis said she's tried hard not to change despite the overwhelming success.
"At the end of the day, I ask myself if I'm the best athlete, mom and person that I can be," she said.
And maybe she has another Olympic run in her.
"I would love it, to share it with my family, so I'll never say never," she said.
The Davis cycle
Muffy Davis captured three gold medals in handcycling at the 2012 London Paralympics, and she did it in impressive fashion. Davis won the individual time trial by more than two minutes, the road race by 33 seconds and the three-person relay by six points.
Davis thinks competing in Brazil in 2016 is a definite possibility after having competed in two winter Olympics and now a summer Olympics.
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