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Gwen Torrence
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Athlete
    (June 12, 1965- )
    Born in Decatur, Georgia
    Won gold medals in 200 meters (1992) and the 4x100 relay (1992,96)
    Won silver in the 4x400 relay (1992)
    Won bronze in 100 meters (1996)
    Inducted into the US Track and Field Hall of Fame (2002)
    Became a hairdresser after retiring from athletics
    She resisted running track in high school because she thought the gym clothes were ugly.
    Despite being one of the fastest women at 400 meters, she rarely ran at that distance, telling her coach, 'It makes my booty lock up.'
    She said, 'When you start winning, that's when it stops being fun.'
    When fans would ask, 'Are you Gwen Torrence,' she would answer, 'No.'
    After finishing 4th in the 100 meters at the Barcelona Olympics (1992), she declared that two of the three medalists were using drugs.
    Under pressure from the media, she said she did not mean gold medalist Gail Devers, thus implicating silver medalist Juliet Cuthbert and bronze medalist Irina Privalova.
    Confronted a day later by Cuthbert, she immediately changed her story to accuse Devers instead.
    She was constantly teased as a child for being an 'ugly, skinny, big-nosed kid.'
    Her speed was revealed when the fastest member of the high school football team teased her, snatched her pocketbook and ran off. She caught him after 70 yards even though she was wearing pumps.
    During a three-year stretch, she won 49 consecutive races.
    During the 1991 World Track Championships, she finished second in the 100 and 200 meters to Kristin Krabbe of East Germany, who later tested positive for steroids.
    She eventually apologized for her accusations at the Barcelona Olympics.
    She said she just wanted to compete and never wanted to be a celebrity.

Credit: C. Fishel


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