at Bielema as the coach was walking off the field Saturday night | Forum

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Back in 1996, Amy Van Dyken entered her first Olympics as a relative unknown. Wholesale Shoes China . She wasnt expected to do much of anything -- and then did something no other woman had ever done before in Olympic history: She won four gold medals in a single Games and became the most successful athlete of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.Today Van Dyken says she continues to draw strength and motivation from her Olympic success as she continues to recover from a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Although 20 years have passed since her historic run in Atlanta, the memories are as strong as ever.I didnt feel any different until I got to the Olympics. I joke that after I made the Olympic team, I woke up and was excited to look in the mirror because I was an Olympian now and everything would change. But that wasnt true until we got there. All of a sudden youre handed all of this stuff with USA on it. You get that swim cap with the flag and your last name on it. Youre just like, Oh my gosh, this real. Ive been dreaming about this since I was 10 years old and its finally happening.People didnt really care who you were, they just cared that you were an American -- and they went nuts for you. To be in our own country was amazing -- it was really, really neat to have an entire crowd behind you every time out there. At my first race, you could see my eyes were huge because Id never swam in front of a crowd like that before.Then, all of sudden, you start to feel pressure. A lot of it. But Im one those people who wouldnt do a book report until the night before it was due. I love pressure, so I started to feed off of it. I always wanted to show people what I could do.No one knew who I was. No one cared who I was. I was supposed to win one bronze medal as part of a relay team. The media was not focusing on me at all before the Games, so I had the luxury of being able to sit back and really enjoy the experience and process it without all of the cameras in my face. I watched my friend Janet Evans and she didnt have that luxury; cameras and people were around her all the time. She didnt even have a second to stretch by herself.The first gold I won was in the 4x100 relay. Relays are always so much fun because youve got these other three girls that youve competed against your entire career and then youre put together on a team. You all get to swim together for a common goal, which is incredible! I actually ended up posting the fastest split in history, which is really cool, and the only reason I did that was because of the motivation I drew off those other three girls. I didnt want to disappoint them -- and thats more pressure than anything.People were wondering if I should pull out of the next race. It was the 100-meter butterfly, and when I made the team in the butterfly, it was kind of shock to everybody. I was just not one of the top two butterflyers in the US. I was definitely one of the top three or four, but not top two. So there was a little bit of controversy around that race leading up to the Games. People were saying that I should let someone else swim it who would have a better shot than I would. But I thought to myself, there is a reason that I made it in this event and Im going to do best that I can do.So winning it, I mean, that was crazy! There are some words you will never forget. When they said: The gold medal goes to Amy Van Dyken from the United States of America thats something Ill always remember.On the podium, there is an emotion that overtakes you that is unbelievable. It does not feel real; you feel like youre floating above yourself, watching yourself in a dream and youre going to step off the podium into a big sea of Skittles and then youre going to take off on a unicorn.That race is probably the one that I will most vividly remember forever. Like, when I am on my deathbed, Ill be telling my great-grandchildren about it. Because I was not supposed to win it. But I did.And thats when I realized: If I can win an event thats not my strongest, whats the limit for me at these Games?As I started winning gold medals, everything was different. The birds sang louder. Next up was the 4x100 medley relay. I was the anchor leg and we won gold in that. Then I started looking at my stash and suddenly I had three gold medals. I was not supposed to do this! And now Ive got my best event coming -- the 50-free -- and that was my jam.You want to talk about being in the zone? Before that race, everything got really quiet, really calm. I remember standing on the blocks and just thinking to myself, this is going to cap off your whole Olympics. Before the gun went off, the last thing I said to myself was, Its yours. Go get it.We got in the water and started swimming and my main competitor was from China. I always took one breath in the 50-free. I took my breath and she took her breath at exactly the same time and we looked at each other. I put my head back in the water and the things that I said to myself, I cannot repeat because they are so foul. I was basically like, This is my home turf. This is my race.I didnt really know what that fourth gold medal meant in the grand scheme of it. It wasnt until I saw my coach, Jonty Skinner, crying on the pool deck that I realized something big had just happened. I remember sitting on the deck of the warm-down pool and my feet were in the water thinking to myself, I just wanted to make the team -- and I made history.I always wondered, why dont women get the same TV coverage as men??But in 96, the women took over in such a way that the TV networks had no choice but to show all these amazing women and what they were accomplishing. It seemed like every time you were watching an event, an American woman was just killing it. Then to hear that they were calling it the Olympics of the Woman was the coolest thing ever. To know that I had some part in that is really special.I think back to when I watched the Olympics growing up and the people I cheered for. Besides Janet Evans, the hallmark athletes everyone focused on were men. I thought it was so cool that little girls sitting at home in 96 were able to watch women dominate and have someone their own gender to look up to and aspire to be.From the moment everyone walked off the field, we knew what we had done as women. It used to be the Olympic fraternity. Because of the 96 Games, we now have a sorority. Cheap Shoes China .Y. -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Wednesday that J. Shoes Wholesale China Suppliers . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. http://www.shoescheap.net/ . Oaklands loss to Seattle clinched the ALs best record for the Red Sox with one day to spare in the regular season. "I think everybody was kind of watching," catcher David Ross said. "Demp (Ryan Dempster) came out before he went to the bullpen and was just yelling that they lost. FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- An Arkansas professor has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication after screaming obscenities at Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema following a 49-30 loss to No. 1 Alabama.Lawton Nalley, listed on the schools website as an associate professor of business and economics specializing in agriculture, was charged with the misdemeanors after screaming at Bielema as the coach was walking off the field Saturday night. Naalley, 37, was released from the Washington County Jail later that night. Shoes Cheap Online. university spokesman said Monday morning that a statement on Nalleys arrest would probably be forthcoming later.Arkansas (4-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) hosts Mississippi on Saturday.---This version of the story corrects the final score throughout. ' ' '
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