Friday, January 18, 2013


Opinion: Diamond Dixon precious jewel



Kansas University's Diamond Dixon responds to a question during track and field media day on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Pop quiz: What diamond sparkles the most?

a) Round brilliant

b) Marquise cut

c) Heart cut

d) None of the above

Gemologists would claim the answer is a) the round brilliant. Forgive their ignorance. They never have seen the sparkle of the smile on the poster of sprinter Diamond Dixon as she bites into her gold medal, earned as part of the U.S. Olympic team’s 4X400 squad.

Mona Lisa’s eyes follow visitors as they stroll through the Louvre. Dixon’s smile from the poster plastered all over the Kansas University athletic department has a staying power of its own. To see it staring down at you tends to make you feel better inside for the rest of the day.

Lance Armstrong shot his way to the top, and anyone who told the truth about that, we now learn, ran the risk of having his or her character assassinated.

Manti T’eo’s girlfriend died, but never was born. Maybe he wasn’t trying to tackle Alabama’s Eddie Lacy after all. When we thought that was what he was doing he actually was giving his phantom girlfriend a hug for all the world to see.

Diamond Dixon is real, and so is her smile and her gold medal and her national championship in the 2012 NCAA indoor 400 meters.

Now that she has acquired the ultimate track-and-field hardware, what keeps Dixon motivated, what keeps her humble?

“You’re never really at your best,” said Dixon, fresh off hernia surgery. “That’s what I learned from my coach (Stanley Redwine). No matter what time I run, I can always eventually run faster. I always want more. I’m a little greedy. I always want more.”

More success in her event. Not more publicity. Not more drama. Not more air time. More polishing of the gem of a gift she has been given, the gift of speed, the gift she constantly buffs with the help of coaches and teammates.

She said she keeps her gold medal in her room, shares it with visitors and gets a kick out of how they seem to marvel at how heavy it is.

She works extremely hard and has so much talent that she has a way of turning her dreams into reality, not that she wants all of her dreams to leave the realm of fantasy.

My recurring nightmare started 39 years and 150 pounds ago, during track season as a freshman in high school. In the dream, I was winning a race — that’s how I could tell it was a dream — and my legs all at once turned to mush. I couldn’t move. I asked Dixon if she ever had a similar dream.

“Actually, I have a nightmare about a lion chasing me in the backyard,” she said. “The lion’s running really, really fast, and I’m just moving so slow, not going anywhere. I don’t know what it means, but it’s a fierce lion. Pretty scary.”

She said it has recurred several times.

“I haven’t had it lately,” Dixon said.

Maybe the lion is resigned to never catching her. Dixon’s that fast, yet not so fast as to get ahead of herself by seeking fame instead of tangible goals measured in fractions of a second.


Gary Wirsig 5 years, 5 months ago

Copy that. Isn't there some way of having some of Keegan's comments removed from this site?

Jeffrey Nelson 5 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Ron Prichard 5 years, 5 months ago

HawkOverseas, you said it perfectly. Great post.

KGphoto 5 years, 5 months ago

Your beef should be posted here too ↓↓↓↓↓↓, for good measure. : )

Phil Leister 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't have any personal ill will towards Keegan. That's a great honor to receive. Would I personally have voted for him, if such a thing were open to voting? No, but that doesn't mean anything. Obviously a lot of people, and important people at that, value Keegan's work. But there are plenty of readers on here who question some of the things he writes. I was just pointing out a couple of things that, in my opinion which means very little, he could eliminate and make a much better article.

BainDread 5 years, 5 months ago

Ever heard of the silent majority? If you are too young to remember Nixon, perhaps not.

actorman 5 years, 5 months ago

I actually like the "quiz" at the beginning; I think it's a cute way to talk about what an uplifting, positive person Diamond Dixon is. But I completely agree with you about the bringing up of the two phonies: completely unnecessary and irrelevant, and feels like a chance to take a gratuitous shot.

Ray Winger 5 years, 5 months ago

Suggestion to KU Athletics Dept. Make and give her an exact duplicate of her 'Gold Medal'. Have her retain ownership of the original, but put it on display..,..Allen, or wherever...track stuff is one of Al Oerter's Olympic Discus, to protect it. She can have it whenever...but doesn't run the risk of theft, or other loss, as it may be in 'her room'. I am warmed by her letting friends hold it and dream of... what it must have been like...

Jeffrey Nelson 5 years, 5 months ago

"Manti T’eo’s girlfriend died, but never was born. Maybe he wasn’t trying to tackle Alabama’s Eddie Lacy after all. When we thought that was what he was doing he actually was giving his phantom girlfriend a hug for all the world to see."

What was the point of this? To display cleverness? It's not that clever!

milehighhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Keegan had a chance to give Diamond a nice, straight-up article that she could cut out and show her kids and grandkids someday.

Instead he tries to be clever and ruins the gesture.

Ray Winger 5 years, 5 months ago

Y 'Never use a $5 word when a 50cent word will do'....Samuel Clemens

Zac Graves 5 years, 5 months ago

Good lord, people. Can't any of you just congratulate Ms. Dixon (other than Actorman)?

Student-athletes like Ms. Dixon makes me proud to call myself a Jayhawk. As former KU spinter and grad, I want to thank you for continuing the tradition and best of luck to you in the future.

April13 5 years, 5 months ago

My daughter runs the 400 and is a senior in high school. We went to a recent KU indoor and found Diamond, who took a picture with my daughter - it is now my daughter's most prized possession.

Some may not remember, but Diamond's leg in the prelims was the one that actually put the U.S. in first place. I believe that we running behind the Russians....

The smile on Diamond's face says it all....I can't think of a more aptly named person.

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