Elle Woods - I don't think an abstract argument over where this kid was near death is relevant. I saw some video clips of the kid in the hospital. He was seriously injured to the point where walking normally was not a fait accompli. He was also physically weakened to the point where recovery was uncertain.
In fact, I think his race this weekend validates my point. It is a nice performance for a hobby runner or athlete, but that is not what he wants to be. I am not sure he will ever "come back" - meaning just the level of fitness and performance he had in high school. And he will need that and considerably more to be competitive in triathlons. This is not a knock on the kid - more of a reflection on just how uncertain his comeback may be.
I think he deserves credit for getting back to active life so soon. Lots of it. But the odds are that just being able to enjoy active life centered around fitness may just be the appropriate and realistic goal for him. Yes, I understand he ought to be optimistic at his young age, but in the end, he should be thankful he is able to be on his own two feet and be active.