Five Not-So-Easy Pieces

FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP-GETTY IMAGES

STANDARD BEARER: Harland's World Cup gold in Athens last December confirmed her as favorite to win again in August

Lying in bed after the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympics, her face aching from smiling so much, Georgina Harland thought, "Yes, this is for me." The irrepressible 22-year-old from Canterbury had gone to Sydney as a reserve for Britain's women's modern pentathlon team. She made up her mind that at the next Games, she'd be more than a spectator. She began to push herself harder in international competitions, and won three in a row. After she took bronze at the 2001 World Championships, she was ranked No. 1 in the world. And that's when she almost missed out on the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!