"I know full well that if I wanted to go back home and rest a bit I could do something again next year. But I've made a decision to retire. It happens to have been very ill-timed. But that will not make me change my mind."
Snell says there is a New Zealander he knows who is over the hill and still running, "and it is kind of pitiful to see," but he does not think of himself as over the hill, and the trip was not so pitiful as it may have appeared. "I felt enriched in many ways—new friendships, the receptions I received. I was shown that, win or lose, I have earned a place in the feelings of fans all over the world."
Last week he appeared in Erfurt immediately after his 1,000-meter record was broken by J�rgen May. He was in street clothes when he went onto the track to congratulate the East German. When he appeared, Snell said, "there was pandemonium." He said this wonderingly, proudly, as if just realizing a great truth. No one, he said, had to introduce him.
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