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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Postcript

Times staff writers take a look back at the Centennial Games

August 05, 1996|TIM KAWAKAMI

Did it take more than two seconds? Probably not.

But, in the daze and delirium of American featherweight Floyd Mayweather's nervous victory over Lorenzo Aragon in the quarterfinal round--ending two decades of Cuban Olympic dominance over the United States--the poignant moment between legendary Cuban Coach Alcides Sagarra and Mayweather seemed to last a year.

A tap of hands. A nod from Sagarra. A stare. Then it was over.

I don't know of many lasting soaring sights and scenes from this quirky competition. But something unexplainable was communicated from Sagarra to Mayweather, a flash of something dignified and proud and Olympian, and if the boxing rarely measured up to that moment, at least it happened, once, for about two seconds that seemed like a year.

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