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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Postcript

Times staff writers take a look back at the Centennial Games

August 05, 1996|LISA DILLMAN

When is the last time you saw someone volunteer to give up a potential gold medal?

Swimmer Kristine Quance of USC and Northridge was so distraught over her preliminary performance in the 200-meter individual medley that she tearfully asked if Amanda Beard could replace her for the breaststroke leg of the 400 medley relay.

I wasn't quite sure if I had heard correctly and asked Quance, "You wanted off the relay team?" An upset Quance nodded, saying she didn't want to hurt the team's chances.

We later got another look at relay-team politics, but here was someone concerned for her teammates. This could have been Quance's only shot at a gold medal and she was willing to step aside for their good.

As it turned out, it was too late for a replacement. Quance helped the relay team qualify, and that night the Americans won the event and there were gold medals all around.

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