Big Al Can Cut It

Alison Dunlap didn't make it in soccer--but as a mountain biker she could be a world beater

Let's just pretend that Alison Dunlap wasn't cut from the 1987 Colorado College women's soccer team. Where might collegiate soccer have led her? "Right about now I'd be finishing up a Ph.D. in biology and making about 10 grand a year" as a graduate researcher, Dunlap says with a half-laugh.

Of course, she was the last player cut. But in a sequel that should give heart to anyone ever chosen last for a schoolyard hoop game, Dunlap finds herself one of the favorites to win the gold medal in cross-country mountain biking in Sydney.

Currently atop the World Cup mountain-biking standings,...

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