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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight

Checking In

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

July 30, 1996|Associated Press

Matt Ghaffari of Colorado Springs, who won the silver medal at 287 pounds in Greco-Roman wrestling, paid a surprise hospital visit Sunday to Fallon Stubbs, who was injured in the blast at Centennial Olympic Park that killed her mother Saturday.

"He was very nice to me," Stubbs, 14, said from her room at Georgia Baptist Hospital. "I didn't even know his name, but he gave me a little hat with an American flag on it that he wore on the medal stand, some T-shirts and an Olympic pin."

She said Ghaffari let her wear his silver medal. "He told me to get better and said he would come back and see me when he could."

Stubbs, of Albany, Ga., was taken to Georgia Baptist from the park early Saturday. Her mother, Alice Hawthorne, 44, was killed.

Ghaffari said he had planned to go to volleyball but decided to go see Stubbs as an ambassador of all the Olympic athletes.

"She gave me a big smile," Ghaffari said on NBC's "Today" show. " 'Oh, you're big. Oh, the medal is big.' Then she says, 'You have a big head, you must have a big heart.' "

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