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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS

Ugly Americans? A Few State Their Case

July 28, 1996

I am an American who enjoys watching U.S. athletes win gold medals. However, as an Irish American who took special interest in the wonderful performance of Michelle Smith, I was saddened and disappointed in the reaction to her victories.

There is not a shred of evidence suggesting Ms. Smith used performance-enhancing drugs. Is it really so difficult to imagine that a 26-year-old veteran swimmer could peak at the perfect moment? Is is so difficult to accept that Janet Evans could have a bad day?

Had Bob Beamon or Billy Mills won gold medals today, I wonder if the rest of the world would suggest they had used performance-enhancing drugs.

CORMAC O'HERLIHY

Marina del Rey

*

There are times I'm ashamed to be an American. The U.S. protest of Irish swimmer Michelle Smith is a perfect example.

Strength of character has always been more valuable than gold.

RICK CAINE

Los Angeles

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