Reed was on the verge of retirement
ATHENS, Greece -- Jennie Reed was alone on the track, winding up a twilight practice when the magnitude of the Olympics suddenly hit home.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" -- blaring at the adjacent swimming stadium in honor of Natalie Coughlin's gold medal -- began echoing through the nearly deserted velodrome.
Reed's eyes quickly filled with tears. She let her mind drift
away, imagining the view from atop a medal stand, olive wreath on
her blond head, gold dangling from her neck, her flag ...
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