Todd Hays, golden boy from Del Rio

Texas has strong ties to many gold-medal-winning Olympic athletes.

In 1960, Rafer Johnson of Hillsboro won gold in what is considered one of the most difficult athletic competitions, the decathlon. We all cheered as San Antonio’s David Robinson, America’s first three-time men’s basketball Olympic team member, brought home two gold medals and one bronze in three consecutive Olympic Games.

Carly Patterson, from Allen, Texas, tumbled her way into our hearts and onto the gold-medal platform in winning the highly coveted women’s all-around championship at the 1996 Olympiad. Michael Johnson, beloved Baylor Bear from Dallas, wowed the crowds at the ’92, ’96, and 2000 Olympic Games by breaking records and winning gold in multiple track and field contests.

But did you know that the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, will host several Texas athletes, including my good friend Todd Hays?

Todd grew up in Del Rio, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Acu