Gymnastics: The Comeback Kids

Judges' errors mar Paul Hamm's gold but not his performance. Carly Patterson is tops, hands down

At 3 o'clock in the morning, after Paul Hamm won the first individual all-around gold medal in the history of U.S. men's gymnastics, after he waved the hardware for the cameras and took a long, drawn-out drug test, he finally talked to his parents from the athletes' Village. Mom was not in a coddling mood. "Paul," said Cecily Hamm, who raised three gymnasts, including Paul's twin brother and fellow Olympian Morgan, "you put us all through hell tonight." They had a laugh at that one. "Mom, listen," he responded. "I put myself through hell."

For a gymnast and his family, 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!