I wanted very much to win at Stanford, as did all the athletes who came to the stadium. Once before, in preparing for a meet, I had looked bad. To excuse myself, I told my coach that my leg was hurting. "Yes," he said. "I can understand this. But not one of those present here would understand it. We can't explain it to them. Once you are on the track, you must compete."
It was four days before the competition at Stanford that I strained a muscle in the thigh of my takeoff leg. Three shots of novocain before the jumps allowed me to get to the starting place, but I was too upset and the pain still hampered me.
The result is known. Ralph Boston won once more. During the final parade, Boston and I walked together. The setting favored confessions. We agreed that our people should always walk together, hand in hand.
Then Ralph thought for a minute and said: "You'll jump 28 feet."
I was as frank as he when I answered him with the same compliment.