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U.S. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL : LOS ANGELES--1991 : ATHLETES TO WATCH : Among 3,000 Competitors, Some Will Stand Out

July 10, 1991|ELLIOTT ALMOND



Renee Duprel had no interest in bicycling when the idea was presented to her at age 14.

"I didn't really like it," she said recently. "My father made me start riding. My father and brother used to drop me on the hills and they'd rush me. I wasn't every good at it."

Duprel wanted to play basketball and compete in gymnastics. Her father said cycling was a good way to train for a summer basketball camp, so she tried it. Then, he registered her and brother Brent in classes on track racing.

She has not stopped since.

"I had to race against all the boys because there were no girl junior track racers in Seattle," she said.

She also raced against Brent, and the two would get into fights before the races started.

"We'd get warnings from officials," Duprel said.

Last year, Duprel excelled, finishing second in the match sprint event at the World Championships behind her bitter rival, Connie Paraskevin-Young. Duprel also was third in the Goodwill Games and won a national championship.

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