Nick Scandone’s Golden Sunset
Nick Scandone, 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist, has passed away. Nick succumbed early this morning from the lingering effects of ALS. Nick was pre-deceased by his mother and sister, and leaves his dad, Vince, brother Rocky, and rock of gibraltar wife Mary Kate, along with several thousand friends and fans, probably tens of thousand’s of fans actually. Nick’s accomplishments the past few years in the face of adversity touched us all.
ALS is a terrible, wicked disease. And though it all, Nick never complained, and literally partied on. While slowing down after his Paralympic win, he never the less wanted to stay as active as possible, and engaged with his friends. To that end, there would be a group of people who would gather at Nick and Mary Kate’s for Monday Night Football parties all this fall. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Nick was leading the way in menu selection, and giving orders in the kitchen so as to inspire a Gold medal performance in seafood meal preparation from chef Clarence. Right to the end, Nick consumed fun, food and friends with the same zeal with which he approached his Gold Medal performance this summer.
There’s one more story that needs to be told here. The hat. In late August several people got up before the sun to wish Nick and his coach Mike Pinckey farewell at John Wayne airport, on the first leg of their journey to China. At the airport, Nick was wearing an official 2008 Olympic hat. When asked where he got that hat, Nick said “My mom gave this to me three years ago, and told me I’d wear it when I went to the Olympics. Unfortunately she’s not here to see all this, but her hat is going with me to China, just like she said it would”.
If there is a good ending to Nick’s story, it’s that he can now tell his mom Marilyn about the rest of the journey of the hat. Add your stories and memories of Nick here. – Peter Huston. Photo by Dan Tucker.