ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It has been a lifetime of extremes for a former Lourdes High School Running hero. Tim Ramey graduated in 1969. And after 43 years he was recognized for his accomplishments on the track.
Life has thrown Ramey some unexpected turns, and he said his life-changing accident helped him realize who the real heroes are.
A basketball MVP as a senior, the most valuable runner in track and cross country, state record setter in the mile and the recipient of the John Mason Award. Tim Ramey carried his success into Adams State College when they won nationals his junior year.
"When I started running was, really, before it was in vogue. I used to get heckled all the time," said Ramey.
It wasn't like it is present day, runners were looked at as a different breed, with their short shorts and running shoes. The criticism was tough to run away from.
"One time I was running through the golf course and this golfer stopped and they said, 'run! Run!' Just like always. I just turned to them and I said 'golf! golf!' I thought, 'what's the difference" recalled Ramey.
Those days are long gone for Ramey and not by choice. After college, Ramey and his wife moved to Grand Marais, Minn. in 1980 to manage the Naniboujou resort. While there he picked up another occupation.
"I became a volunteer fireman too," said Ramey. Any fire call has its risks, but in 1998 one call would change Ramey's life forever. "I have some pre-amnesia from it but basically a chimney collapsed. It landed on the footings and sprayed the cinder block over me and it paralyzed me from T-4 down," he said.
On Sunday night, Ramey, and three others were inducted into the Lourdes Hall of Fame. Ramey explained it's a good thing to do, recognize the athletic greats, but his accident gave him perspective.
"When I was in the hospital, all that time... seven months on and on, my wife had to keep me going, keep the kids going. And, to me, she was the real hero," he said.
For Ramey, getting this recognition has been humbling. And though more than 40 years have passed and his mobility is limited, he continues to move forward.
And he is moving forward. Since the accident, he has taken mission trips to Africa and other parts of the world. Ramey, his wife and their seven kids still operate the historic Naniboujou Lodge on Lake Superior.
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