Dispatches > The Buzz

Faces

Issue: "Who'll be king of the Hill?," Oct. 7, 2000
  • Wearing a special rubber shoe to protect foot bones broken during training, 22-year-old Laura Wilkinson became the first American woman in 36 years to take home the Olympic gold in platform diving. Ms. Wilkinson refused surgery so she could compete and then braved three-story climbs to the diving platform, all the while stepping on bones that protruded painfully underneath her skin. After her Sept. 24 victory, Ms. Wilkinson told reporters that before each dive she recited Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."
  • Doctors had told him he would never walk again, but 34-year-old kayaker Cliff Meidl carried the U.S. flag in this summer's opening Olympic ceremonies. He almost lost his legs in 1984 after striking high-voltage cables and absorbing 30,000 volts of electricity while working as a plumber's assistant. After years of rehabilitation and surgeries, Mr. Meidl last week competed in sprint kayaking, which requires mostly upper-body strength.

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