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35 Olympic athletes share their personal stories, including: Cliff Meidl, canoe/kayaking: Electrocuted and pronounced dead three times, came back to compete in Olympics despite losing functional use of his knees. Laura Wilkinson, diving: Three of the people closest to her died within a year, but she turned their memories into positive energy to accomplish her goals. Duncan Kennedy, luge: Overcame bleeding on the brain stem to compete again, also defended an African-American U.S. luge teammate against German Skinheads and was severely beaten. Bela Karolyi, gymnastics: Put U.S. Gymnastics on the map in the international arena, coaching, among others, Mary Lou Retton and Dominique Moceanu. Nancy Schultz, wrestling: When her husband, Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz, was murdered, she took over and established a foundation, and two wrestlers from their club went to the 1996 Olympics. Lenny Krayzelburg: The top U.S. and World backstroker came to America from Russia because his parents wanted a better future for their children. Jill Newman, triathlon: While walking dogs, she suffered a broken hip that went undiagnosed for several weeks, but came back and returned to the top of the rankings. Ugur Taner, swimming: Parents came to America from Turkey to give their children a shot at prosperity and opportunity. Sarah Leith, canoe/kayaking: Overcame dyslexia and uses her talents to motivate others who cope with learning disabilities. Angel Perez, canoe/kaying: Swam across the Rio Grande in his underwear to defect from Cuba while competing in Mexico City. Leslie Milne, field hockey: Lost her husband to cancer but persevered - now is an emergency room doctor, and she still has her Olympic bronze medal. Michael Norment, swimming: Trying to become first African-American member of U.S. Men's Swim team. Mary Lou Retton, gymnastics: Stormed onto the scene and in her first major international competition won the all-around gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. Scott Ikl, sailing: The Olympic sailor saved the sailing program at his college and built it into a national powerhouse. Iris Zimmermann, fencing: Has set the standard in U.S. fencing. Her father came to America from Germany and her mother from China. Tony DeBoom, triathlon: The former Army Ranger decided to pursue his Olympic. He lost his father after a triathlon, but uses his father's memory to push forward. Mary Joe Fernandez, tennis: Never let tennis rule her life, she is also the all-time most medaled female U.S. Olympian in tennis. Yewki Tomita, gymnastics: Coached by his father, who came to America from Japan, he overcame the setback of falling short of winning at a national meet to set an even higher standard for himself. B.J. Bedford, swimming: She learned about herself and how to be part of a team to reach the highest level of competition late into her 20s. Jay Hakkinen, biathlon: Raised in Alaska, he is the best hope the U.S. has for a medal in 2002 in men's biathlon. Erika Brown, curling: An all-Big 10 Conference golfer, Brown used those skills to help make the U.S. Olympic Curling team twice - she was the youngest Olympian on the 1988 team. She is now a physician's assistant. Bobby Brewer, swimming: Major injuries forced him to leave the water, apparently for good, until an award of his fell off the wall and hit him on the head, knocking some sense and perspective into him. Lindsay Benko, swimming: One of the rising stars, she overcame the fear of competing with and against the best swimmers in the world when she stepped onto her college campus as a wide-eyed freshman. John Roethlisberger, gymnastics: Major knee surgery forced him to re-evaluate his career and goals. He came back, and has never been better. Barb Metz-Linquist, triathlon: Playing in "God's Playground" of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, she found the direction she needed. Vitaly Marinitch, gymnastics: Gave up a chance to represent Ukraine in to come to U.S. Mark Ruiz, diving: Moved to America from U.S. territory Puerto Rico to pursue his Olympic dream and represent America. Robin Goad, weightlifting: Succeeded in proving lifting weights didn't make women "big and bulky" but rather made them more physically fit and confident. Allison Weston, volleyball: Led Nebraska to its first national championship in volleyball and quickly made the jump to the U.S. Olympic team. Steven Lopez, tae kwon do: Younger brother of the sport's legend, Jean Lopez, and hopes to help U.S. make mark in newest Olympic sport. Kristen Maloney, gymnastics: Ms. Consistent without much flash, she simply gets the job done and won back-to-back national championships in 1998 and 1999. Trifun Zivanovic, figure skating: Severely injured in a car accident, he came from modest beginnings in a sport that requires money. He also delivered pizzas to earn money as he prepared for the U.S. Nationals. Josh Davis, swimming: Triple gold medal winner in 1996 Olympics, the team captain hopes to swim in the 2012 Olympics - and the others between now and then. Barb Kunkel, tae kwon do: An injury ended a promising basketball career. To rehabilitate the injury, she found a sport that could take her to the Olympics. Dan O'Brien, decathlon: "Dan and Dave" were all over the place before the 1992 Olympics, but at those Games, Dan was absent after not qualifying. He won gold in 1996.
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