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Of his 23 years with USA Today, Patrick said: “I never took it for granted. I appreciated every trip, from 1988 and my first Olympics to my last Olympics in Beijing. I knew I wouldn’t go on forever, but I didn’t imagine the newspaper industry would be in such dire straits.”

Patrick said the calls are coming in with job potentials, but he still is concerned.

“I feel like a runner who was dropped by a sponsor in a nonchampionship season,” he said.