Sisterhood of Champions

Before they arrived in Athens, the two swimmers were known for their struggles rather than their successes. Petria Thomas, 28, had spent a long stretch of her career wrestling with a body that kept letting her down; if she wasn't recovering from another shoulder reconstruction she was seen as the dependable No. 2, lingering in the shadow of a now-retired rival known as Madame Butterfly. Jodie Henry, 20, was not known outside swimming circles. She, too, had experienced tough times in a short career. Her nerves could reduce the sprinting dynamo to a heaving wreck. But by the end of the...

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