For years, my neighbor had a newspaper clipping of Olympian Bruce Jenner — waving an American flag — taped to the wall in his garage. He was all man: masculine, muscular, handsome.

Out of all of the Olympic events in 1976, the decathlon was at the top of the food chain. Its winner was considered the “World’s Best Greatest Athlete.”

That year, Bruce Jenner won gold.

It’s a pretty big deal (even bigger in the ’70s) for an athlete to grace the covers of Sports Illustrated and the Wheaties cereal box. Bruce Jenner was on both. No athlete at that time was more popular.

Fast forward almost 40 years, and — according to sources — he’ll star in his own reality TV show, which will chronicle his “journey.” Insiders, sources, and people close to Jenner, are using words like “transformation” and “transition.”

Magazines and gossip sites aren’t as cryptic:

In Touch: My Life as a Woman.
Star: Bruce Wants to be a Woman.
Perez Hilton: Bruce Jenner Transitioning to a Woman.

Expected ratings? Gold!

Reality TV, of course, is nothing new to Jenner. The genre’s juggernaut, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” — of which he is a part, still rakes in 1.9 million viewers. (Expect ratings to rebound, and assets to grow.)

Like many Olympians his age, Jenner is no longer masculine, muscular, and handsome. And by every indication, he doesn’t want to be.

Bruce’s mother, Esther, 88, says, “I never thought I could be more proud of Bruce when he reached his goal in 1976, but I’m more proud of him now. It takes a lot of courage to do what he’s doing.”

She’s right.

His prerogative. His Life. I wish him well.

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