Not many of the doctor's patients realize they're having their
eyes checked by a man once dubbed the World's Fastest Human. "If
they're old enough, they do," says Dave Sime, who held six world
sprint and hurdles records at one time during the mid-1950s. "I
want patients to come to me because I'm a good eye doctor, not an
Sime, 65, practices in the Miami area--where he lives with his
second wife, Ileana--and has performed more than 10,000 ophthalmic
operations. He also served on the U.S. Olympic Committee on
Sports Medicine, helped set up eye care for the Olympic training
facility in Colorado Springs and treated several Olympic boxers,
including Sugar Ray Leonard. Those are the Olympic moments he has
enjoyed. The ones in which he played the role of athlete,
however, were anything but sweet. "Frankly," he says, "I have
nothing but bad memories about Rome."
Sime headed to the 1960 Olympics as the world-record holder in
the 100-yard dash but lost the 100-meters in a photo finish to
West Germany's Armin Hary. "It was a negative experience," he
says. "I wanted to win but came in second." He didn't even keep
the silver medal but gave it to his mother. He also anchored the
U.S. 4x100 relay team that set a world record but was
disqualified for a bad baton exchange.
As a sophomore at Duke, where he also played baseball and
football, Sime had emerged as a top U.S. sprinter, trading
victories with archrival Bobby Morrow during the 1956 season. A
pulled groin muscle sustained at the NCAA championships tore as
he came out of the starting blocks at the '56 Olympic trials, and
Morrow went on to win three gold medals in Melbourne. "When I
didn't go because of an injury," he says, "I thought I'd better
hit the books and study. It motivated me to go to medical school.
Sports are great, but you never know what's going to happen."
Sime's athleticism has reappeared in his children from his first
marriage. Sherrie played No. 1 for the Virginia tennis team.
Scott wrestled and played football in high school, then followed
his father onto the gridiron at Duke. Youngest daughter Lisa,
appeared in FACES IN THE CROWD (March 17, 1986) and went on to
play soccer at Stanford, where she met her husband, Denver
Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. Dave still runs but also
enjoys in-line skating, biking and golf. Sime has begun to
consider retiring from his surgical practice but never ponders
how things might have been different. "In life, you never look
back," he says. "You take bad experiences as motivation for
better things. You can't dwell on what would've, could've,
COLOR PHOTO: JERRY COOKE (COVER) Sime (above, left) traded victories with Morrow before the 1956 Olympics, but an injury kept him out of the Games.
COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER