Aries Merritt won the gold medal in the 110 hurdles at the 2012 Olympics. He set the world record in the event a month later. As impressive as that is, what he has been able to overcome over the past three years is even more amazing.Merritts kidneys began failing in 2013 to the point that they were functioning at only 10 percent. Last September, he underwent a kidney transplant. Despite that, he is still competing, still hurdling and is still among the best in the world.You may have your attention fixed on Michael Phelps, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt at the upcoming Olympics, but Merritt is someone you had better keep in your mind, because his story is incredible and inspiring.When Merritt received the news that his kidneys were functioning at just 10 percent due to a genetic disorder, he feared that he never would run again. Well, briefly. Because this is a man who was not about to give in -- to anything.If anyone deserves a relaxing cooldown, its Merritt, seen here stretching out on a treadmill at the EXOS facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Olympic athlete underwent a kidney transplant last September.He owns the world record in the 110 hurdles and won the Olympic gold medal in the event in 2012, yet Merritt calls the hurdles your worst enemies. But recovering from his kidney transplant was as challenging as anything he had faced.A drug-testing official from the United States Anti-Doping Agency is to Merritts right as he does some stretching. He takes medication for his kidney every 12 hours, but those drugs are either neutral or could slightly weaken muscle -- theyre definitely not performance-enhancers.Putting on his shoes for a training session, Merritt felt much better than he did when he donned them for the 2015 world championships in Beijing. At that point, his kidney was functioning at just 10-15 percent, and he was scheduled for his transplant just days later. He still finished third.Hydration is always important for an athlete. Merritt, who lives and trains in Arizona, recognizes that it is a top priority.After his transplant, Merritt wanted to begin training as soon as possible. His doctors told him he had to wait eight weeks. He was able to get going in seven, then needed to wait several more weeks when his new kidney needed a second surgery in October.Its easy to see the Olympic rings painted on the bottom of Merritts pool. Look a little more closely, and you might see the scar left on his abdomen from his kidney transplant.Merritts tattoos pay tribute to his gold at the London Games in 2012 with a time of 12.92. A month later, he broke the world record in the 110 hurdles at 12.80, bettering the previous mark by seven-hundredths of a second. It was the largest drop in the record in 31 years.The kidney transplant doesnt stop Merritt from living life like everyone else -- after all, he competes like few others can. Pizza, anybody?Almost four years after he broke the mark, Merritt remains the world-record holder. But he still has big hopes for the future: He wants to win the world championships.While shopping for groceries, Merritt is able to pick most food items that he wants. One thing he cant eat, however, is pomegranates.Training for the Olympic trials in any sport can be exhausting. Fortunately, Merritt is able to relax in his home afterward. He also binge-watched shows while recovering from his kidney issues. Perhaps Netflix should make a series about him.After a long postsurgical layoff, Merritt was able to get back into training. He wasnt in top shape and ran a shorter schedule than normal, but he went to Eugene determined to reach the Rio Games.Its not surprising that someone who is a gold-medal hurdler would have a lot of shoes, and Merritt keeps his gear nicely organized.With Jason Hettler timing him and Olympian Muna Lee watching from the side, Merritt trains on a treadmill. Merritt always gives it his all, even when his kidney only could give him 10 percent.Running isnt enough for a world-class hurdler -- you must also lift weights to improve your strength. Given all that he has gone through, Merritt clearly is even stronger in his attitude and approach to life.Merritt walks into the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he received his kidney transplant. Dr. Les Thomas, who treated Merritt, is so impressed by him that he traveled to Eugene to see him compete.Heres one more demand required by the kidney transplant: Because of his immune system issues, Merritt cant clean up after his four dogs. He hired a helper for that dirty work.Merritt calls his sister LaToya Hubbard every day. And why wouldnt he? Shes the one who donated her kidney to save him. She gave me the gift of life, he says.This Nike ad at Hayward Field says Merritt is Unlimited and Unleashed. It should also say Undaunted by Anything. And we mean Anything!Merritt sits at Hayward Field in Eugene while Kelly Clarksons song Stronger plays over the speakers. What doesnt kill you makes you stronger, the lyrics say. Those words could have been written about Merritt.Although he clipped the hurdles four times (which he usually does not do), Merritt ran the sixth-fastest time in the first round at the U.S. Olympic trials, good enough to advance to the semifinals.Merritt wasnt thrilled with his time of 13.64, more than a half-second off his world-record time, but he was happy to advance and is looking to do something magical in ensuing rounds. But what could be more magical than what he has already done?After the preliminaries, Merritt was somewhat fatigued. But dinner and meeting up with his 22-month-old niece, Lela, and his sister LaToya helped re-energize him -- just as his story should re-energize you.Asked whether he would give LaToya his gold medal if he won again in Rio, Merritt said she didnt want it. She only wanted people to know she donated her kidney. The normal waiting list for a kidney can be years; some patients die before they can get one.After advancing to the 110 final, Merritt hugs his mother, Linda Hubbard. She not only raised him, she helped nurse him back to health following his kidney transplant.Merritt had the lead in the 110 final with just three hurdles left to the finish line.Leaping over the last hurdle, Merritt was behind Devon Allen and extremely close in the race to be among the next two finishers who would qualify for the Olympic team. The finish was so close that determining those qualifiers took an agonizing amount of time.In appreciation for his work, Merritt invited his kidney specialist, Dr. Les Thomas, to the trials. Regardless of what his finish would be, Thomas said Merritt is an inspiration. What hes done is a way to say no matter how dark it may be, there is always a brighter spot.Merritt just missed the Olympic team, finishing fourth by 1/100th of a second. Still, he said, People should know that no matter what youre going through in life, if you keep your mind focused on something you want to accomplish, anything is possible. Nike Air Max 90 Cheap Wholesale . The move comes after the Canadiens were approached by the Buffalo Sabres for permission to speak to Dudley - a former Sabres player and head coach. "The Sabres called for permission and I appreciate that, Im flattered, Dudley told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun of ESPN. Air Max 90 Cheap China . Meanwhile, there were huge victories for Sunderland and West Ham over fellow relegation rivals, leaving the battle to avoid the drop up for grabs with the bottom 11 teams separated by just six points. Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres scored second-half goals to seal a fourth straight victory for Chelsea, which climbed above Arsenal and Manchester City in the standings ahead of their games on Monday and Sunday respectively. http://www.airmax90cheap.net/ . -- Aldon Smith believes he is on the path to being sober for good. Air Max 90 Clearance . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. Cheap Air Max 90 Free Shipping .Y. -- Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone has drawn on his Syracuse connections once again by hiring Rob Moore to take over as receivers coach. DETROIT -- The Kansas City Royals began the game by hitting for the cycle as a team, then Whit Merrifield nearly did it by himself.Merrifield hit a triple as part of Kansas Citys four-run first inning, and he later added a single and a double in a 12-9 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. The Royals hit four homers to drop the Tigers in the AL wild-card race -- and avoided elimination themselves.I havent played in the playoffs, but that was as close to a playoff atmosphere as Ive been a part of, said Merrifield, a rookie who made his debut for the defending World Series champions in May. (The Tigers are) fighting for a spot, and theyre going to give you your best shot, so youre going to have to play all 27 outs.Kansas City started the game with a single by Billy Burns, a triple by Merrifield and a double by Kendrys Morales before Salvador Perezs two-run homer made it 4-0. It was the first time the Royals first four hitters combined for a cycle since Sept. 30, 2006, also at Detroit.Tigers starter Matt Boyd (6-5) lasted only one more hitter after Perezs homer, giving up another hit before being pulled. The Tigers fell 1 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second wild-card spot. The loss cut Clevelands magic number to clinch the AL Central to one -- the Indians start a four-game series in Detroit on Monday night.Boyd said he understood 100 percent why he was taken out so quickly.I might have been able to work myself through it, but the margin of error is zero right now, he said. Every run is important right now and so is every game.The Royals led 7-0 after Cheslor Cuthbert and Raul Mondesi hit consecutive homers in the third.Dillon Gee (8-9) got the win in relief, and Wade Davis pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances. Miguel Cabrera came up as the tying run but lined out to shallow left field to end it.Plate umpire Dan Iassogna ejected Cameron Maybin from the Detroit dugout during that final at-bat.Victor Martinez hit a grand slam for Detroit in the third to make it 7-4, and the Tigers loaded the bases again that inning, chasing starter Edinson Volquez in the process.dddddddddddd. But Andrew Romines bunt attempt with two outs was fielded easily by reliever Peter Moylan, and the force at home ended the inning.Detroit tried several former starters in long relief -- Anibal Sanchez, Shane Greene and Mike Pelfrey all pitched -- in an attempt to keep the game close, but the Royals kept adding runs. Alex Gordons two-run homer in the sixth made it 11-5.Kansas City let the Tigers creep back into it by the end. Justin Upton hit a solo homer in the seventh, and Detroit also scored two runs on wild pitches, the second of which made it 11-9 in the eighth.The Royals held on, though, and theres still a mathematical chance they can catch the Orioles.Maybin had four hits for the Tigers.VERSATILEMerrifield played first base for the first time this season. Hes also played second, third, left field and right field.Its always fun to switch up the angles for me, see the ball from a different perspective, he said. I got a couple balls. I didnt get to pick one.MARATHONSThe 3-hour, 51-minute game was Detroits longest nine-inning contest of the season. The Tigers played 3:50 against the Royals on Saturday.TRAINERS ROOMTigers: RHP Jordan Zimmermann, who has been dropped from the rotation as he struggles to come back from neck problems, pitched for the first time since Sept. 10. He pitched the last three innings in relief, allowing one run and four hits.UP NEXTRoyals: After an off day Monday, Kansas City starts RHP Ian Kennedy (11-10) against Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios (2-7) on Tuesday night.Tigers: Detroit sends RHP Buck Farmer (0-0) to the mound Monday against Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (18-9).---Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister ' ' '