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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | NOTES

Strug Says She Is Skipping UCLA and Cashing In

July 31, 1996|Associated Press

Don't look for Kerri Strug at freshman orientation.

Strug said Tuesday night on NBC that she will give up her UCLA scholarship, deciding instead to cash in on her Olympic fame. She reportedly has hired an agent.

Strug's earning potential is enormous, said Brandon Steiner of Steiner Sports Marketing in New York. Strug became a hot commodity last week when she ignored a pop in her left ankle during her failed first vault and came back with a gem. She didn't know at the time whether the second vault was needed for the U.S. to win the team gold, so she vaulted again. The vault wasn't needed, it was later learned.

Strug tore two ligaments and sprained the ankle in the process.

"Everyone knows what she did and it gives a company really an opportunity to ride on that image," Steiner said. "You can't buy that, you can't make it. It's that one shot, that one situation that gives them that little edge. It makes people feel something."

Strug showed that Tuesday, bringing 31,520 fans who paid between $106 and $265 to their feet when she was introduced with the rest of the U.S. women's team at the Olympic exhibition.

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