Olympics: Colliding Myths After a Dozen Years

Apart Stereotypes aside -- why the Soviets should do better than the U.S.

Two weeks after Claudia Losch of West Germany won a 1984 Olympic gold medal with a shot put of 67 ft. 2 1/4 in., Natalia Lisovskaya took that event at the Soviet bloc's boycott-inspired Friendship Games with a throw almost 5 ft. longer. Barred by politics in 1984 from a chance at world sport's most enduring honor, Lisovskaya began training at Moscow's Brothers Znamensky Sports School for Seoul in 1988.

In 1980, when Greg Louganis was favored to become the first man in more than 50 years to win two gold medals in diving at the same Olympics, he instead sat...

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