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Steven Bradbury
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Athlete
    (October 14, 1973- )
    Born in Sydney, Australia
    Short track speed skater
    Won an Olympic bronze medal in the 5000-meter relay at Lillehammer (1994)
    Won an Olympic gold medal in 1,000 meters at Salt Lake City (2002)
    Contestant on the Australian 'Dancing with the Stars' (2005)
    He only won the gold medal because all four of the skaters ahead of him crashed on the final turn.
    And he only made it to the finals in the first place because three skaters crashed in his semi-final race, resulting in his finishing second.
    And he only made it to the semi-finals because a skater who finished ahead of him in the quarterfinals was disqualified for obstruction.
    He shilled for the Australian lottery.
    He has an eyebrow piercing.
    His hair has frosted blonde tips.
    During a collision at the world championship, another skater's blade sliced through his right thigh, cutting all four quadriceps muscles (1994).
    He lost four liters of blood, required 111 stitches, and needed 18 months before his leg was back to full strength.
    He broke two vertebrae in his neck in a training accident (2000), and spent a month and a half in a halo brace. ('[It was] like getting your head put into a vise.... It was pretty horrific.')
    At Salt Lake City, he adopted cruising behind the competition and hoping for a crash as a deliberate strategy, as he was older and slower than his opponents and figured challenging them directly would only increase his own chances of crashing.
    He said, 'I don't think I'll take the medal as the minute-and-a-half of the race I actually won. I'll take it as the last decade of the hard slog I put in.'
    He was the first Australian (and first person from the Southern Hemisphere) to win a gold medal at a Winter Olympics.
    'Doing a Bradbury' became Australian slang for an unexpected success.

Credit: C. Fishel


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