His patients primarily knew him as Dr. David Sime, a renowned Miami ophthalmologist who was a pioneer in laser surgery and treated Richard Nixon, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Don Shula and Bob Griese.
But Sime was making headlines long before he became a doctor.
He was the holder of nine world track records, was dubbed “one of the fastest humans of all-time” and appeared on the cover of a July 1956 Sports Illustrated with the caption “Superman in Spikes.” He won a silver medal in the 100-meter dash at the 1960 Rome Olympics while attending Duke University Medical School.
Sime died Tuesday at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after a long battle with cancer. He was 79.
“Dr. David Sime — a great friend of mine who I will miss dearly. #fastestmanonearth #myfriend #rip’’ Shula posted on Twitter on Thursday.
Sime (rhymes with rim), a New Jersey native who spent most of his life in Miami, excelled in many sports. He was a champion broad jumper and discus thrower, the 1950 Silver Skates Derby Junior Novice Champion, a basketball star, the 1958 Atlantic Coast Conference javelin throwing champion, and a football player and All-American center fielder at Duke.
He turned down many Major League Baseball offers and was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1959 but never played in the NFL. He was inducted into the USA Track & Field New Jersey and North Carolina Sports Halls of Fame, and in 2010 Duke named him the school’s “Most Outstanding Athlete of the 20th Century.’’
Sime remained active into his later years, dabbling in tennis, inline skating, cycling, wind surfing, helicopter skiing, flying, shooting, sailing, body surfing and kayaking.
Never miss a local story.
He leaves his wife of 17 years, Ileana Sime, and her children Silvio, Raquel and grandchild Madison Estrella.
He also leaves ex-wife Betty, eldest daughter Sherrie and her husband, Rick Giusto, their children Ali, Jenna and Chris; his son Scott Sime and his wife, Belinda, and their daughter Amber; his youngest daughter Lisa and her husband, former NFL player Ed McCaffrey, and their four sons Max, Christian (the 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up from Stanford), Dylan and Luke; and many close friends.
▪ St. Thomas 62, Warner 49: Host St. Thomas (8-6, 2-2 Sun Conference) knocked off Warner (13-4, 4-1), marking the first loss in conference play for the seventh-ranked team in the NAIA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll that entered the game winners of seven of its previous eight.
Four Bobcats scored in double figures, with Michael Walker posting a game-high 13 points. Raheem Bowman posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Mikon Hewitt scored 12 points and dished out four assists, and Armand Shoon came off the bench to score 10 points.
The Fort Lauderdale Strikers will open the NASL Spring Season at home against expansion club Miami FC on Saturday, April 2, at Lockhart Stadium in what could be the start of an intense local rivalry.