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Atlanta 1996 Olympics / The Countdown: 5 Days to the
Games | Olympic Scene

Women as Stars? Tell Us a Story We Don't Know

July 14, 1996|RANDY HARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After injuring her left thigh during last month's U.S. track and field trials and failing to make the team in the 200 meters, Gwen Torrence suffered an allergic reaction before a meet last Monday in Stockholm and returned to her home in Lithonia, Ga., an Atlanta suburb. It was just what the doctor ordered, even if she didn't talk to one. "I feel it's a blessing what happened in Stockholm, to make me not run," she said. "It took something extreme to make me realize, 'Gwen, you're tired. You need to go home.' " Torrence, once touted as a favorite for four gold medals here, will compete only in the 100 and 400-meter relay. She took herself out of contention for the 1,600-meter relay after finishing fourth in the 200 at the trials.

The U.S. women's gymnastics team is so deep that it calls itself "The Magnificent Seven." Even the woman at the bottom of the order, Amanda Borden, says that she has so many endorsement offers that she has changed her mind about enrolling this fall in the University of Georgia and competing for the team in NCAA events. . . . Belarus' Ivan Ivankov, who upset teammate Vitaly Scherbo to win the all-around title in the European gymnastics championships, underwent emergency surgery after tearing an Achilles' tendon last week in a workout in Cartersville, Ga., and will miss the Games.

Here's a surprise: Chinese women swimmers called a news conference Friday at their training camp in Auburn, Ala., to announce that they are drug free. . . . Charles Barkley is tired of the Dream Team--not the players, but the name. "They should name it Team USA," he said. "We're not as good as Dream Team I."

Bosnian kayaker Samir Karabasic arrived for training last week in Ducktown, Tenn., with a leaky second-hand boat that he bought in Germany after his equipment was destroyed by the shelling of his hometown. In the spirit of the Olympics, the United States' Scott Shipley, a medal favorite, gave Karabasic a watertight, $2,000 kayak. . . . It is not only we peons whose luggage is lost by the airlines. Among those who didn't receive his when his plane landed last week here was Prince Albert of Monaco. Asked if he needed to borrow a toothbrush he said: "No. I'm a seasoned traveler. I had one in my carry-on bag."

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