Gabriele Grunewald dies, the inspiration of athletics
The sad news of the death of the athlete Gabriele Grunewald has caught us off guard. Not because his state was the best (his husband had been informing the networks for several days that he had gotten worse), but because the sources of inspiration, the 'legends', seem immortal, we would like them to be. And Gabe was. Apart from one of the best mid-distance athletes in the United States, Grunewald had become a symbol of the fight against cancer.
It all starts in 2009
In 2009 he felt a small cyst below his left ear, which his doctor diagnosed as a cystic adenoid carcinoma, "a rare cancer". Of course she felt fear, as she has stated on some occasions "I am a young adult with cancer, it is not a television movie, it is something real, and it is scary". However, when already by then her coach told her not to do the next race she flatly refused and made one of her best personal records running the 1,500 meters.
Grunewald went through surgery and radiation, but three months later he ran again, and far from seeing his physical strength diminished, he managed to keep improving his times. The problem flared up again in 2011, when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Running became even more elementary for Gabe, who also found support from his then partner and now husband Justin Grunewald (Gabe's original surname is Anderson). In 2016, her husband precisely detected a strange mass in his stomach. This time the adenoid carcinoma was larger, and he supposed that half of the liver had to be removed.
Despite the setbacks, he has never lost the good face and has not stopped encouraging the youngest to overcome all the setbacks that life puts them ahead. He made a personal mark at the 1,500 in Monaco in 2013 (4:01:48), when he had already entered this spiral.
This June 11 he left with the same calm and serenity he showed in his last years. At home, in Minneapolis. It was announced by her husband, her companion, her support, on Instagram. Rest in peace, Gabe.